Dec 2012
Hello and thanks for reading this! :)

So I'm really confused about some hybridization. If anyone can point me to a good self-help/self-learn site on it, I'd really appreciate it. I've been looking all over, and it seems to me that a lotof the websites don't provide a thorough enough answer for me to stop wondering, "so why does hybridization occur?"

I think I can understand the jist of it, such as the shapes correlating to the hybridizations.. (like how tetrahedral shaped molecules are sp3, and sp3d2 is octahedral) But now.. what's this whole thing with pi and sigma bonds? I understand that sigma bonds are simply all single bonds, and that double bonds are composed of one sigma and one pi, triple bonds are one sigma and two pi's.

So I guess a specific question I'd like to ask for help is:

If an atom has sp3d2 hybridization in a molecule,
The maximum number of σ bonds that the atom can form is 6
The maximum number of pi bonds that the atom can form is 0?!

I understand that a molecule like SF_6_ can have 6 sigma bonds because they're all single bonds, but why 0 pi bonds?! Why would it be unable to form any double bonds at all?! I mean, that is what's being suggested by 0 pi bonds right?! That makes no sense to me.

Again, I appreciate all time and effort spent reading and replying. Thanks so much!



CHF Hall of Fame
May 2010
Hmm, I don't know the answer to that, but I'll be glad to try discussing about it and hopefully, get some acceptable answer.

I thought about it a while and cannot see an atom with sp3d2 hybridization to give a double bond.

The first element coming to my mind here is sulfur.

Sulfur has 6 outmost electrons able to make bonds.

In sp3d2, all 6 are taken up in the hybrid and none are left to be able to make a pi bond.

As opposed to sp hybrid of carbon where there are 2 p electrons still able to bond (hence 2 sigma with sp hybrid, 2 pi with p orbital) and 1 p in sp2 hybrid (3 sigma with sp2 hybrid and 1 pi with p orbital electron).

Can you find some element which you think should be able to make double bonds with an sp3d2 hybridization?

We could say the element next to S, which is Cl, but I really don't see Cl doing double or triple bonds...