In enhancement to this method, it is also very useful come remember part traits pertained to the structure and hybridization. In general, an atom with all single bond is an sp3 hybridized. The ideal example is the alkanes. All the carbon atom in an alkane are sp3 hybridized with tetrahedral geometry.

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The carbons in alkenes and also other atoms v a dual bond space often sp2 hybridized and have trigonal planar geometry.

The triple bond, top top the other hand, is characteristic for alkynes wherein the carbon atoms space sp-hybridized.

Some exceptions

There a few common exceptions to what we have actually discussed about determining the hybridization state and they are mostly related come the method where we look at the bonding form of the atom.

For example, in the carbon dioxide (CO2), the carbon has two twin bonds, however it is sp-hybridized.


And the reason for this is the reality that the steric variety of the carbon is two (there are just two atom of oxygen connected to it) and also in stimulate to keep two atoms at 180o, which is the optimal geometry, the carbon requirements to usage two identical orbitals. This is only possible in the sp hybridization. The other two 2p orbitals are provided for make the twin bonds on each side that the carbon.

Another common, and really important instance is the carbocations.


Here the carbon has only solitary bonds and it might look like it is claimed to it is in sp3 hybridized. However, the carbon in these type of carbocations is sp2 hybridized. Again, because that the very same reason, that its steric number is 3 (sp2 – three similar orbitals).

An exception to the Steric Number method

One exemption with the steric number is, for example, the amides. The nitrogen atom here has steric number 4 and expected to sp3. However, since of the resonance delocalization the the lone pair, that interconverts from sp3 come sp2 as it is the only method of having actually the electron in one aligned p orbital that deserve to overlap and also participate in resonance stabilization with the pi bond electrons of the C=O dual bond.


In most cases, girlfriend won’t need to worry around the exception if girlfriend go based on the Steric Number.


Determine the hybridization state of each carbon and also heteroatom (any atom other than C and H) in the complying with compounds.

Hint: psychic to include any missing lone bag of electrons whereby necessary.


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