All of the information you need on XeF4’s structure, molecular geometry, and hybridization.

An example of the chemical formula for the Xenon Tetrafluoride compound is XeF4. Fluorine and xenon react to generate this chemical molecule. The chemical equation for this substance is as follows:

Xe + 2F2 ——> XeF4

Xenon is purportedly oxidised by fluorine under certain circumstances of temperature and pressure in this process.

Xenon (Atomic number= 54) and Fluorine (Atomic number= 9) are the two interesting elements in this chemical combination.

Compounding xenon with fluorine requires the addition of one part of the element and four parts of fluorine. In a nickel container, it is heated to a temperature of 400°C and then let to cool for a few minutes.

Nickel is not a catalyst in this procedure. Whenever fluorine reacts with it, it is employed to form a protective coating.

Among other noble gases, Xenon Tetrafluoride was the first binary compound identified. It’s an exothermic reaction that releases 251 kilojoules of energy per mole.

When fluorine interacts with xenon, a colourless, crystalline material is created.

The chemical compound’s structure is square planar, according to a number of neutron diffraction investigations.

VSEPR theory supports the findings of this study because xenon has two lone pairs.

The chemical sublimates at a temperature of 115.7°C. As long as pressure and temperature are normal, XeF4 is stable.

The xenon gas, molecular oxygen, and xenon fluoride are all released when it comes into contact with water. This reaction can only take place if the air is slightly damp.

The Lewis Fragment

First, it’s important to understand the meaning of the Lewis structure of xenon tetrafluoride.

The electrons in the valence shell of a molecule are depicted as a simplified symbol.

An electron configuration around a particular atom in a molecule can be shown using this method.

Two atoms can be shown connected by a bond using dots and lines, respectively.

To achieve an electrical configuration, the structure must satisfy the octet rule and be compatible with the molecules that make up the structure, as well.

However, the Lewis structure method does not describe the molecules’ internal geometry. A simple hypothesis of an electrical structure could be called this one.

It also aids in the identification of a molecule’s or compound’s physical and chemical properties.

XeF4 Lewis structure drawing

With the help of a periodic table, we must determine the number of valence electrons in the xenon tetrafluoride molecule.

The following stage asks us to distribute the valence electrons around the core atom in the molecule.

Filling up the outer shells of every atom is our third stage.

We already know that Xenon Tetrafluoride has 36 valence electrons. After that, the valence electrons are added and the outer shell is tested to see if it is complete.

Xenon has eight valence electrons, whereas the compound has four fluorine atoms, resulting in a total of 28 valence electrons.

As a result, the total number of valence electrons in XeF4 is 8+28, or 36. Thus, the chemical XeF4 has 36 valence electrons.

Xenon has the lowest electronegative properties. Thus, it is encircled by all four fluorine atoms in the middle.

In the next stage, you’ll draw lines to represent the xenon-fluorine links. Each of the bonds has two electrons.

As can be seen, the single bonds have a total of four bonds. This signifies that 8 of the original 36 electrons have been depleted.

As a result, the remaining electrons should be added to the atoms at this moment.

Each fluorine atom will have six electrons surrounding it. Since 24 of the fluorine atoms have already taken up residence, only two electron pairs remain.

In this case, the four electrons left over from the octet rule do not connect with any other element.

They are referred to as lone pairs or nonbonding electrons because of this.

structure of xef4

Its molecular structure, in this case XeF4

Molecular structure, or molecular geometry, is a three-dimensional representation of the complete molecule.

To better comprehend and study the reactivity, colour, phase, magnetism, and other properties of matter using this notion is useful.

A molecule’s form is not taken into account by the Lewis structure theory. Therefore, molecular geometry is used to define the molecules’ basic shape.

The lone pairs of electrons are seen in the Lewis dot structure.

Electrostatic repulsion may exist due to these two sets of non-bonding electrons being close enough together.

As a result, the VSEPR theory implies that the electrons must have a minimum amount of repulsion. This will aid in the compound’s ability to maintain its structural integrity.

Groups of electrons on a molecule’s core atom form the subject of this study.

Predicting placements is easy if you visualise electron groups in terms of bonding or non-bonding pair configurations.

To determine a molecule’s shape, a Lewis structure must be constructed. Calculating the number of electrons in a bond and in a non-bonding group is made easier with this tool.

Non-bonding electrons are therefore positioned perpendicularly within an eight-sided octahedron.

They’re 180 degrees apart, with their backs to one another. Xenon tetrafluoride’s square planar shape is solely due to this.

XeF4 cross-breeding

To put it another way, this is the process by which the orbitals of an atom fuse together to generate new hybridised orbitals, which establish the molecules’ unique geometry and bonding properties.

The theory of valence bonding is also depicted here. The concept of hybridization is explained by quantum mechanics. All atomic orbitals of the same level are allowed to participate.

The energy is reallocated to the other orbitals such that they receive the same amount of energy. Hybrid orbitals denote the newly created types of orbitals.

Atoms can’t create bonds when they’re gaseous, therefore this only happens during the bond-formation process.

A new type of orbital is formed when two orbitals of an atom with the same energy level fuse together. The compound XeF4’s hybridization will be shown here.

Xenon The xenon atom at the centre of tetrafluoride serves as the epicentre for hybridization.

Among the six electrons in the 5p orbital of the atom, there are two electrons in the 5s orbital. The f and d orbitals of the fifth shell are electron-free.

They hop from the 5p orbital to the 5d orbital, occupying the voids. In part, this is due to the fact that their orbitals are in an excited state.

Unpaired electrons in the 5p and 5d orbitals make up the sp3d2 hybridization, which has two unpaired electrons in each orbital. As a result, a sigma bond is formed.

Polyethylenimine (XeF4) is nonpolar

It’s important to note that XeF4 is not a polar molecule at all.

XeF4 has a square planar geometry due to its symmetry. All the dipoles across the Xe-F bond cancel each other out, resulting in a net dipole of zero.

Because of this, the XeF4 molecule has a homogeneous charge distribution and there is no polarisation.

For more information, see the article on XeF4 polarity.

XeF4’s MO Schematic

With the use of molecular orbital theory, a MO diagram serves as a descriptive tool for explaining how chemical bonds occur in molecules.

To form molecules, atoms and other atoms join to form molecules with the same number of molecular orbitals as atoms.

Diatomic compounds are ideal for this approach. An understanding of MO diagrams helps to identify compounds.

Identifying the strength of the bonds and electrical transitions is also made easier with its assistance.

The XeF4 MO diagram shows that the compound has a square planar structure. 1.95 A° separates the Xe and F points on the graph.

Since the two electrons from 5p that are not bound to a bond are moved to the 5d orbital, the valence bond theory helps to explain this phenomenon.

Four half-filled orbitals establish covalent connections with half-filled 2p orbitals of fluorine atoms once hybridization takes place.

Thus, the XeF4 molecule was formed, which has two lone pairs and four bond pairs in it.


Because its structure is simple, Xenon Tetrafluoride is a fundamental molecule. This molecule has no dipole moment since it is non-polar.

The non-bonding electrons form an octahedral shape in the square planar structure. These locations are taken up by the lone pairs in order to minimise repulsion in an octahedron’s geometry.

The chemical xenon tetrafluoride has a square planar structure because of this. Metal contamination of silicone rubber can be detected using this colourless, white, crystalline material.

Read more: Chemical Hybridization of CH3NH2 and the Polarity of its Lewis Structure

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More