Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and the MO Diagram for BrF3.

Bromine Trifluoride, or BrF3, is a fuming liquid that contains inter-halogen combinations and has a distinctive odour.

This chemical molecule, which has a straw-like appearance and is colourless to yellow in colour, has a variety of applications but also a number of drawbacks and hazards.

Here’s how we can make BrF3 by synthesising or preparing it:

BrF3 is a potent fluorination agent since it contains three fluorine molecules. The presence of both Br and F in this compound can result in the formation of HBr and HF acids.

Bromine trifluoride has qualities such as being very soluble in sulfuric acid and serving as fluorine donors.

It can also be used as an oxidizer in rocket propellants, as well as a potent inorganic solvent and even in the production of uranium mixed halogens for nuclear fuels.

The fact that BrF3 is extremely reactive in water and fairly hazardous, resulting in a variety of human ailments ranging from skin burns to eye ulcers and respiratory system irritation, does not change the fact that it is highly reactive in water and quite toxic.

BrF3 Chemical Bonding

The bonding type and strength of any compound are the key to studying it thoroughly from the ground up. To comprehend the chemical bonding of any specific molecule or ion, we must first understand why some atoms come close together and combine to form complex chemical structures, as well as the various types of bonds that they form to attain this complexity and development of larger compounds.

Chemical bonds come in a variety of forms, including ionic, covalent, metallic, hydrogen, and so on. Several known compounds have varied bond strengths and reactivities.

We’ve observed a variety of chemical compositions with contrasting or similar chemical and physical properties as a result of unusual arrangements.

Because of its peculiar bonding nature, BrF3 is an interhalogen molecule with unique properties and reactive strength.

In this article, we will attempt to gain some understanding of the bonding that occurs within a Bromine Trifluoride molecule.

To accomplish so, we must first master the methods for drawing a faultless Lewis Structure for BrF3.

Lewis Structure of BrF3


When a molecule is produced, it is made up of various atomic elements that are either the same or different and come together to form single or multiple bonds, resulting in the molecular structure described above.

The skeleton of any molecular composition or ion generated with the help of constituent elements, the valence electron concept, and bond creation is known as the Lewis Structure.

This is a two-dimensional structural depiction that offers us a quick but clear picture of a molecule’s interior location.

How to Make a BrF3 Lewis Structure

Step 1: A molecule of BrF3 has how many valence electrons? Both Br and F are halogens that belong to the periodic table’s group 7.

As a result, the valency of both of these elements will be 7. In BrF3, the total number of valence electrons is

= 7 + 7*3

= 7 + 21

= 28.

Step 2: Which atom will now serve as the centre atom?

We keep the least electronegative element in the middle as a general guideline.

Bromine has an electronegativity value of 2.96, while F has a value of 3.98, according to the electronegativity chart.

As a result, we preserve the central Br atom bordered by the F atoms.

Step 3: To complete the octet, we’ll wrap the 28 valence electrons around the atoms.

For each atom, we’ve attained our octet configuration. As valence electrons, Br and the three F atoms each have eight electrons surrounding them.

Step 4:A single bond will form between bromine and each of the fluorine atoms. However, if we add up the total number, it comes to 26, not 28.

Step 5: What are our options now?

The electron pair will be placed on top of Bromine. Br will have 10 valence electrons surrounding it, which is an exception to the octet rule.

Step 6: In order to determine whether this is the best Lewis Structure creation for BrF3, we must first grasp another concept: formal charge.

The charge imparted to constituent atoms inside a chemical molecule when the bonding is shared evenly among all of the atoms present is known as formal charge.

This is how the formal charge is calculated.

When constructing a Lewis Structure, we must ensure that all of the atoms have the lowest feasible formal charge values.

Let’s do the math for BrF3:

Formal Charge = 7-0.5* 2 -6 = 0

Formal Charge = 7-0.5*6 -4 = 0

We can observe that the formal charge values of the three F atoms and the single Br atom are all zero. As a result, we can conclude that we already have our most suitable LS diagram.

Molecular Geometry of BrF3

What is the definition of Molecular Geometry?

Molecular geometry is a crucial idea based on VSEPR theory that allows us to determine a molecule’s 3D structure.

Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory (VSEPR) is an acronym for Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory.

This model is a theoretical approach that relies on the repulsive behaviour of similar charges in electron clouds to determine the exact molecule structure of any given mixture.

Do you know that every valence electron surrounding an atomic nucleus inside a molecule has a function to perform in minimising repulsion and achieving balanced geometry?

It makes no difference if an electron shares a single bond, a double or triple bond, or even a lone pair. However, the amount of the repulsion varies, with connected pairs experiencing the least and lone pairs experiencing the most.

Let’s apply this notion to determine BrF3’s molecular shape.

Molecular Geometry of BrF3

Let’s take another look at the Lewis Structure.

The core atom is Br. The centre Br atom is surrounded by three Fluorine atoms, resulting in three bond pairs.

Bromine is an exception to the octet rule since it has two lone pairs.

The steric number is a vital concept to understand because it is required for every VSEPR computation.

The sum of the number of bound electrons and the lone pair on the core atom is known as the Steric Number.

BrF3 steric number = 3+2 = 5

Let’s have a look at the graph below:

We can see that the VSEPR geometry for Bromine Trifluoride is T-shaped if we look attentively.

We can infer that the angle has to be 90 degrees if we look at the alphabet T, which this molecule resembles.

The bond angles, however, are lowered to roughly 86 degrees, which is still 90 degrees.

This is due to the halogen F’s high electronegativity power, as well as the influence of two lone pairs that push the bonds apart somewhat, making the angle less than 90 degrees.

As a result, the BrF3 molecule has a twisted T-shape.

Polarity of BrF3

The chemical BrF3 is classified as a non-polar molecule.

Because the electronegativity of Br and F atoms differs significantly. The charges are not evenly distributed across the molecule.

Because of the lone pairs on the Bromine atom, the BrF3 has an asymmetrical shape, which contributes to the non-uniform charge distribution.

Such non-polar molecules have a non-zero net dipole moment.

You must read out a prewritten essay on BrF3 polarity for complete information.

Hybridization of BrF3

Unless and until we work on hybridization, we will not be able to correctly identify the bonding nature of any given chemical complex.

a brief introduction

Orbital hybridization is a key concept in the chapter on chemical bonding, where we look at how different atomic orbitals, such as s, p, d, and f, combine and fuse to generate hybridised orbitals that form bonds.

Depending on the type of combination, we have many stages of hybridization. There are sp, sp2, sp3, sp3d, and other variants.

What is the Bromine Hybridization in BrF3?

The BrF3 molecule is hybridised with sp3d.

Let’s have a look at F and Br’s electronic configurations.

F: 1s2 2s2 2p5
F: [He] 2s2 2p5

Br: 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 4p5
Br: [Ar] 4s2 3d10 4p5

The paired electrons will shift to fill the 4d orbital when looking at the bond creation of Br with each of the fluorine atoms.

As a result, we have one s orbital, px, py, and pz orbitals, as well as one d orbital ( dxy for example)

As a result, we’ll get sp3d hybridization, which is influenced by the steric number, which we mentioned before in the molecular geometry section.

Orbital Diagram of a Molecular

Molecular Orbital Theory, which is used to draw the MO diagram of any given molecule, is a complicated but significant chemical bonding concept.

MO theory deals with the spatial and energetic aspects of electrons in quantum mechanics, and it uses the LCAO (Linear Combination of Atomic Orbitals) to produce MO ( Molecular Orbitals).

It’s possible to operate with bonding, anti-bonding, and non-bonding orbitals. Aside from that, the concepts of sigma, pi, delta, HUMO, and LUMO are all present.

For your convenience, the MO structure of BF3 (Boron Trifluoride) is depicted in the diagram above.


The chemical bonding basics of the BrF3 molecule were covered in this article. Bromine trifluoride’s Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and MO Diagram have all been discussed.

I hope you learned something from reading this article. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Good luck with your reading!

Read more: Is O3 a polar or nonpolar substance?

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.


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