For extra credit, my teacher told me I could write an essay on the element tin. She said that I have to include the physical/chemical properties, real life application, and molecular geometry. But I do not know how to write about Tin's molecular geometry. I thought that molecular geometry was only for compounds??
Tin is known to exist in two forms of crystal structure, the tetragonal and the diamond cubic. However, you are right that we write the molecular geometry for compounds. Your teacher might be talking about the molecular geometry of the compounds formed with tin. Tin, (Sn), a metal in the p block elements can form different compounds with different molecular geometry.
Tin exists in two oxidation numbers, the stannous (Sn^2+) and the stannic (Sn^4+) ions. With these, it can form different compounds such as SnCl2, SnCl4, SnH4, SnO, SnO2, SnBr2, SnBr4.
Tin (IV) oxide (SnO2) is a crystalline structure with geometry of octahedral for Sn IV and trigonal planar for O2-.
Tin (II) chloride, (SnCl2) has anhydrous coordination geometry of trigonal pyramidal and for its gas phase, its molecular geometry is bent.