A single lone pair can be found with atoms in the nitrogen group such as nitrogen in ammonia, two lone pairs can be found with atoms in the chalcogen group such as oxygen in water and the halogens can carry three lone pairs such as in hydrochloric acid.
This can be seen more clearly when looked at in two more common molecules. For example, in carbon dioxide (CO2), The oxygen atoms are on opposite sides of the carbon, whereas in water (H2O) there is an angle between the hydrogen atoms of 104.5 o. Due to the repulsive force of the oxygen atom's lone pairs, the hydrogens are pushed further away, to a point where the forces of all electrons on the hydrogen atom are in equilibrium. This is an illustration of the VSEPR theory.
In molecular systems the lone pair can also result in a distortion in the coordination of ligands around the metal ion. The lead lone pair effect can be observed in supramolecular complexes of Lead(II) nitrate and in 2007 a study linked the lone pair to lead poisoning. Lead ions in the human metabolism replac e native metallic ions in several key proteins, for example: zinc cations in the ALAD protein, which is also known as Porphobilinogen synthase. This seems to be the molecular basis of "lead poisoning", or "saturnism" ("plumbism"). Computational experiments reveal that although the coordination number does not change upon substitution in calcium-binding proteins, the introduction of lead distorts the way the ligands organize themselves to accommodate such an emerging lone pair: consequently, these proteins are perturbed. This lone-pair effect becomes dramatic for zinc-binding proteins, such as the above-mentionned porphobilinogen synthase, as the natural substrate cannot bind anymore: in those cases the protein is inhibited.
Group 14 lone pairs manifest themselves in triple bonds as well. The familiar alkynes have bond order 3 with 180° bond angles (A) but going down the row germanium to germanium formal triple bonds have an effective bond order 2 with one lone pair (B) and trans-bent geometries. In lead the bond order is even 1 with lone pairs for each lead atom (C). In the organogermanium compound D, the bond order is also 1 with complexation of the acidic isonitrile groups based on interaction with germaniums empty 4p orbital
Anodic oxidation of m-terphenyl thio-, seleno- and telluroethers: lowered oxidation potentials due to chalcogen ... [pi] interaction.(Report)
Mar 01, 2010; INTRODUCTION Electron-rich neighboring groups are known to lower the oxidation potentials of thioethers owing to donation of an...