Are the chlorine atoms hybridized in BeCl2?

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freemihai | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Hybridization occurs when atomic orbitals blend to form new atomic orbitals. Covalent bonds form when the atomic orbitals of two atoms overlap.

According to VSEPR theory, `BeCl_2` has a linear molecular geometry. This molecular geometry cannot be obtained by using `s, p` and `d` orbitals. Hybridization of the `2s` with one of the unoccupied `2p` orbitals in Be is the solution. The two `sp` hybrids of `Be`  overlap with 3p orbitals of two ` Cl` atoms and form two bonds with bond angle of` 180^o`.

Beryllium needs two hybrid orbitals for the two sigma bonds. The two unhybridized `2p` orbitals of ` Be` remain unoccupied.

The number of the atomic orbitals mixed equals the number of hybrid orbitals. The types of atomic orbitals fused influence the types of hybrid orbitals.

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