When we talk about the hybridization the PCl3 students must not confuse it v PCl5. PCl3 is sp3 hybridized. Let united state look at just how this hybridization occurs and also we will additionally understand the molecule geometry the this compound.

You are watching: What is the molecular geometry, or shape, of phosphorus trichloride (pcl3)?

Name of the MoleculePhosphorus Trichloride
Molecular FormulaPCl3
Hybridization Typesp3
Bond AngleLess than 109o
GeometryTrigonal Pyramidal

What is the Hybridization that Phosphorus Trichloride?

If we look at the molecule of PCl3 that is comprised of phosphorus and chlorine molecules However, the hybridization basically occurs within the central atom i m sorry is phosphorus. Now if us look in ~ the digital structure in the soil state of phosphorus it will be 1s2, 2s2, 2p6, 3s2, 3p2. The valence covering in phosphorus is 5. During the excited proclaimed one of the s electrons move to an empty d orbital causing the change in electronic configuration. In excited the electronic configuration will readjust to 1s2, 2s2, 2p6, 3s2, 3px1, 3py1, 3pz1. Now, 3 unpaired electrons will certainly be provided to form bonds v 3 chlorine atoms. During the development of the bond, four orbitals (3s2, 3px1, 3py1, 3pz1) will hybridize to form 4 indistinguishable sp3 hybrid orbitals. One of the hybrid orbitals will certainly contain one lone pair the electrons.


The P-Cl bonds room basically developed when the sp3 hybrid orbitals overlap with 3p orbitals the chlorine which are singly occupied. Further, every chlorine atom also holds 3 lone pairs. All in all, if us look in ~ PCl3, there space 3 electron pairs, 3 bond pairs and also one lone pair that electrons.

Important Points come Remember

The main atom phosphorus is involved in sp3 hybridisation with 3 bond pairs and one lone pair.In the excited stated one the the s electrons move to an empty d orbital bring about the readjust in electronic configuration.The P-Cl covalent binding are created as a result of sp3 hybrid orbitals overlapping with 3p orbitals the chlorine.

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PCl3 molecular Geometry and also Bond Angles


Looking at the PCl3 molecule geometry it is trigonal pyramidal with a bond edge of approx. 103o. The is mainly as result of the disproportionate affect or higher repulsion the the phosphorus lone pair which provides it deviate from the appropriate angle that 109o.