Explain why PCl5 is trigonal bipyramidal


Explain why PCl5 is trigonal bipyramidal whereas IF5 is square pyramidal.


In PCl5, P has 5 valence electrons in orbitals and make 5 bonds with 5 Cl atoms, it will share one of its electrons from 3s to 3d orbital, therefore the hybridization will be sp3d and the geometry will be trigonal bipyramidal.

IF5, the Iodine atom has 7 valence electrons in molecular orbitals it will form 5 bonds with 5 Cl atoms using 5 electrons from its molecular orbital, two electrons will form one lone pair on Iodine atom, which gives the square pyramidal geometry.

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