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Three-center four-electron bond

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Title: Three-center four-electron bond  
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Three-center four-electron bond

The 3-center 4-electron bond is a model used to explain bonding in certain

  1. ^ p. 897.
  2. ^ Weinhold, F.; Landis, C. Valency and bonding, Cambridge, 2005; pp. 275-306.
  3. ^ Pimentel, G. C. The Bonding of Trihalide and Bifluoride Ions by the Molecular Orbital Method. J. Chem. Phys. 1951, 19, 446-448. doi:10.1063/1.1748245
  4. ^ Rundle, R. E. Electron Deficient Compounds. II. Relative Energies of "Half-Bonds". J. Chem. Phys 1949, 17, 671–675.doi:10.1063/1.1747367
  5. ^ B.E. Douglas, D.H. McDaniel and J.J. Alexander, Concepts and Models of Inorganic Chemistry, 2nd edition (Wiley 1983) p.164
  6. ^ New Way Chemistry for Hong Kong A-level, 3rd edition by Manhattan
  7. ^ E. Magnusson. Hypercoordinate molecules of second-row elements: d functions or d orbitals? J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1990, 112, 7940-7951. doi:10.1021/ja00178a014
  8. ^ Ramsden, C. A. Non-bonding molecular orbitals and the chemistry of non-classical organic molecules. Chem. Soc. Rev. 1994, 111-118. doi:10.1039/CS9942300111


[ F–H F ↔ F H–F ]

Three-center four-electron interactions can also be considered in the transition state of SN2 reactions and in some (resonant) hydrogen bonding (as in the bifluoride anion):

Other systems

Older models for explaining hypervalency invoked d orbitals. As of 2010, these models still appear in some beginning-level college texts;[6] however, quantum chemical calculations suggest that d-orbital participation is negligible due to the large energy difference between the relevant p (filled) and d (empty) orbitals. Furthermore, a distinction should be made between "d orbitals" in the valence bond sense and "d functions" that are included in the QM calculation as polarization functions.[7] The 3-center-4-electron bonding model has the advantage of dispensing with the need for d orbitals, which has led to its acceptance.[8]

Hypervalent description with d orbitals

In this representation, the octet rule is not broken, the bond orders are 1/2, and there is increased electron density in the fluorine atoms. These results are consistent with the molecular orbital picture discussed above.

[ F–Xe F ↔ F Xe–F ]

The bonding in XeF2 can also be shown qualitatively using resonant Lewis structures:

Valence bond theory

Bonding in the hypervalent molecule XeF2 according to the 3-center 4-electron bond model.

The HOMO is localized on the two terminal atoms. This localization of charge is accommodated by the fact that the terminal ligands are highly electronegative in hypervalent molecules. The linear F−A−F axis of the molecules SF4 and ClF3 is described as a 3-center 4-electron bond. In the xenon fluorides, all bonds are described with the 3-center 4-electron model. Molecules without an s-orbital lone pair such as PF5 and SF6 are described by an extended version of the 3-center 4-electron model (See hypervalent molecule).

The model considers bonding of three colinear atoms. For example in xenon difluoride (XeF2), the linear F−Xe−F unit is described by a set of three molecular orbitals (MOs) derived from colinear p-orbitals on each atom. The Xe−F bonds result from the combination of a filled p orbital in the central atom (Xe) with two half-filled p orbitals on the axial atoms (F), resulting in a filled bonding orbital, a filled non-bonding orbital, and an empty antibonding orbital. The two lower energy MO's are doubly occupied. The bond order for each Xe-F bonds is 1/2, since the only bonding orbital is delocalized over the two Xe-F bonds.[5]

Molecular orbital theory



  • Description 1
    • Molecular orbital theory 1.1
    • Valence bond theory 1.2
  • Hypervalent description with d orbitals 2
  • Other systems 3
  • References 4

. sulfur trioxide and ozone as well as multi-center pi-bonding such as sulfur hexafluoride and phosphorus pentafluoride such as hypervalent molecules An extended version of this model is used to describe the whole class of [4] which built on concepts developed earlier by Robert E. Rundle for electron-deficient bonding.[3]

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