MO Diagram, SF4 Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, and Hybridization

SF4, also known as sulphur tetrafluoride, has a characteristic sulphur or rotten egg odour. This substance is typically described as a colourless gas.

The computed molecular weight of this molecule is 108.6 g/mol. The boiling point and melting point of SF4 are -38 and -121 degrees Celsius, respectively.

If inhaled, SF4 is a poisonous gas that can cause severe irritation of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

If it reacts with water, poisonous fluoride and sulphur oxide fumes and an acidic solution are produced.

The same thing occurs when it combines with acid.

When SF4 is subjected to severe heat, there is a possibility that the container will burst.

Only when the proper storage conditions are met is the compound deemed to be stable. Aside from that, it is a toxic substance capable of violent reactions.

Workers exposed to the fumes of this substance may develop shortness of breath, headache, irritation of the eyes and nose, vomiting, and other symptoms.

SF4 has the potential to inflict severe harm as well as health issues such as cancer, however the data has not been examined well enough to be considered accurate.

Now that we have a foundational understanding of the molecule, we should examine its polarity, shape, and other features.

Drawing Lewis Structure

If you want to better comprehend the qualities of any compound, you must examine its Lewis structure.

Atoms within a Lewis Structure join either as lone electrons or by creating bonds.

Electron pairs that do not establish bonds are known as non-bonding electron pairs. And valence electron pairs that form bonds are known as bonding electron pairs.

The Lewis structure aids in comprehending the distribution of electrons between the core and surrounding atoms of a molecule.

The core element in this structure is Sulfur, whereas the surrounding atoms are Fluorine. This is the general concept of why and how Lewis structures are created.

SF4 Lewis Framework

Consider how the Lewis structure of SF4 can be produced.

Lines are used to illustrate the bonds that form between two atoms. While the valence electrons, which play no role in bonding, are depicted by dots.

To illustrate the structure of SF4, we must know the total amount of valence electrons present.

Sulfur is the core atom in this combination. In addition to this, there are four additional Fluorine atoms.

Personally speaking,

Sulfur’s valence electrons equal six

Fluorine’s valence electrons equal seven

Since there are four fluorine atoms, the total number of valence electrons is = 4*7 = 28

Consequently, the total number of valence electrons in this molecule is:

= Sulfur valence electrons plus Fluorine valence electrons

= 6+28 = 34 Valence Electrons.

Now that we know the total amount of valence electrons, we can examine the bond creation in SF4 in further detail.

As previously stated, the core atom in this compound is Sulfur; hence, all other atoms will make bonds with this central atom.

In this instance, the other atoms are fluorine atoms.

Since there are four additional atoms present, there will be four bonds between Sulfur and Fluorine in this combination.

When these bonds are established, both Fluorine and Sulfur will contribute four valence electrons.

Now, after eight valence electrons have been consumed, the remaining number of valence electrons is:

=34-8 = 26 Valence Electrons.

The number of Valence Electrons remaining on Sulfur is two, while each Fluorine atom has six.

Thus, the remaining number of electrons is 26. Sulfur will have two valence electrons, one pair of lone electrons, and four bonds.

Each atom of fluorine will have three lone pairs and one bond.

After examining the Lewis Structure of SF4, let’s proceed to its hybridization.

SF4 Hybridization

Hybridization is a phenomenon that enables us to comprehend the compound’s geometry.

On the core atom of the SF4 molecule, there are four bonding pairs and one lone pair of electrons. Therefore, these five valence electrons inhabit five hybridised orbitals.

Below are the orbitals occupied by this compound:

Three 3p orbitals, one 3d orbital, and one 3s orbital.

With the aid of the diagram provided above, you will be able to comprehend what was just spoken more fully.

The hybridization of any chemical is solely and significantly determined by its Steric number.

To determine the Steric number of SF4, the following formula must be applied.

=Number of lone pair electrons on the core atom plus the number of bound electrons

=4 (bonded electron pairs) +1 (lone electron pair) =5

Therefore, SF4 has a Steric number of 5. Consequently, SF4 hybridization is sp3d.

Now, let’s examine the SF4 molecule’s molecular geometry.

SF4 Molecular Geometry

It is simple to determine the molecular geometry of any substance.

We can determine the structure of a chemical using either the VSEPR model or the molecular formula. According to the hybridization we have just discovered, the molecular formula of this substance is AX4E.

The molecular geometry of all compounds with this formula is known to be trigonal bipyramidal.

In the structure of SF4, two fluorine atoms form equatorial bonds with the centre atom, and two fluorine atoms form axial bonds.

102 degrees is the angle between the bonding atoms in equatorial position. In contrast, the binding angle between axially positioned atoms is 173 degrees.

The lone pair of electrons present on the core atom repels the bonding pair. This is why this SF4 compound has a seesaw-like form.

See the diagram below to comprehend how the atoms are placed in the SF4 compound’s plane.

Polarized SF4

After examining the Lewis structure and molecular geometry of a molecule, determining its polarity becomes quite simple.

If we examine the structure attentively, we can see that there is one lone pair on the core atom and four bonding pairs.

This results in an asymmetrical configuration.

Due to their distribution, two of the Fluorine atoms are able to cancel each other’s dipole moments, but the other two are unable to do so.

As the dipole moment is not zero, this leads us to the conclusion that SF4 is of Polar nature.

Read the comprehensive article about the polarity of SF4.

MO Schematic of SF4

It is vital to understand the MO diagram of a chemical because it illustrates how the bonds within the complex are generated.

This diagram’s entire concept is primarily based on Molecular Orbital Theory.

Once the MO diagrams of compounds are understood, describing their structures and linkages becomes simple.

Below is the MO diagram that you can read and study to learn more about SF4.

Now that you’ve seen the MO diagram, we can move on to discussing SF4’s attributes.

Implementation of SF4

Here are several SF4 applications that you should be aware of:

Used in the production of water- and oil-repellent products and insecticides.

Used to incorporate fluorine into rubber and organic compounds.

Utilized as a selective fluorinator.

Used in the conversion of metal oxides to fluorides.

Let us now proceed and conclude our session on this compound’s in-depth study.

To Summarise

SF4 contains a total of 34 valence electrons, with 4 bonding pairs and 1 lone pair located on the central atom. Each atom of fluorine contains three lone pairs.

The natural hybridization of this chemical is sp3d.

Additionally, the combination is polar because the dipole moment of SF4 is not zero.

According to its chemical formula and hybridization, the molecular geometry of SF4 is trigonal bipyramidal.

Due to the repulsion between bonded and lone pairs of electrons, the shape often resembles a seesaw.

We hope that this essay was sufficiently informative and that you have a basic understanding of this fascinating substance.

If you have any questions about the content, please feel free to contact our team.

Merci for reading.

Read more: MO Diagram, H2S Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, and Hybridization

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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