What is the electronic geometry of SF4?


Quick Answer

Sulfur tetrafluoride, abbreviated as SF4, has a trigonal bipyramidal electronic geometry. This means that the central sulfur atom is bonded to four fluorine atoms and has one lone pair of electrons.

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Full Answer

According to valence shell electron pair repulsion theory, the atoms and the lone pair will move as far apart as possible, which in this case gives a trigonal bipyramidal configuration. This structure consists of a flat plane of two fluorines and a lone pair, much like the structure of a trigonal planar molecule. Above and below the plane (at the top and bottom of the molecule) are two more fluorines. Lone pairs take up more space than atoms; therefore, the lone pair is in the plane because that allows it to be the farthest from other molecules.

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