Worksheet: Hybridization in Molecular Orbital Theory

In this worksheet, we will practice explaining the origin of hybrid orbitals based on electron pair energies and the symmetries of molecular orbitals.


How many bonds can an atom form using sp hybrid orbitals?


How many bonds can an atom form using sp3 hybrid orbitals?


How many bonds can an atom form using sp3d hybrid orbitals?


In the valence bond theory description of methane, which of the following statements is not a valid justification for the use of sp3 hybrid orbitals?

  • AA C atom could not form four bonds without hybridization, as the energy for promoting a 2s electron to the 2p subshell is too large.
  • BThe s orbital of each H atom must overlap with the s orbital of the C atom and at least one p orbital.
  • COverlap of the H s orbitals with the three p orbitals of the C atom would produce bonds at 90 to each other.
  • DA tetrahedral bonding geometry with zero dipole moment is only possible if electron density is distributed equally between the four bonds.
  • EThe CH bonds are exactly equivalent, so they must be generated by orbitals of equal energy.


Which of the following correctly illustrates the energies of the orbitals of the carbon atom in CO2?

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E


Based on the outer shell hybridization of nitrogen, what geometry do amines have?

  • ATetrahedral, just like carbon and oxygen, with four energetically equivalent orbitals pointing at the apexes of a tetrahedron
  • BA structure with three sp2 orbitals in a trigonal planar arrangement and one perpendicular p orbital with 2 electrons
  • CIt is incorrect to equate hybridization with molecular geometry
  • DTwo electrons in the 2s orbital and three bonding pairs of electrons in the three 2p orbitals

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