Q:

What is the tetrahedral molecular shape of NF3?

A:

Quick Answer

Nitrogen trifluoride forms a trigonal pyramid with the nitrogen, the core and the fluoride atoms spaced evenly around it. The scientific notation for Nitrogen trifluoride is NF3.

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Full Answer

Nitrogen trifluoride is an inorganic compound with four atoms. To understand the geometric shape an understanding of the electron dot diagrams needs to be understood. Nitrogen has 5 electrons in its valence ring with one pair and three individual electrons looking for other electrons. Each of the fluoride atoms has seven electrons, three completed pairs and one single electron looking for a partner. The nitrogen forms the core as it has three spaces for the electrons needed. Each of the fluoride atoms joins the single electron on the valence ring to complete the ring and create a stable compound.

The reason the atoms then form a tetrahedral pyramid is because like charges repel. The electrons pairs push away from one another forming the shape between electron rings. The shared electrons hold the shape together while the completed pairs force the compound into its pyramid-like shape. The reasoning behind the nitrogen forming the apex lies in the single free pair of electrons forced up by the bonds of the surrounding atoms.

Nitrogen trifluoride is a colorless gas and is also known as Nitrogen (III) fluoride or Nitrogen fluoride.

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