Square pyramidal molecular geometry

Square pyramidal molecular geometry

In molecular geometry, square based pyramidal geometry describes the shape of certain compounds with the formula ML5 where L is a ligand. If the ligand atoms were connected, the resulting shape would be that of a pyramid with a square base. The geometry is common for certain main group compounds that have a stereochemically active lone pair, as described by VSEPR theory. Certain compounds crystallize in both the trigonal bipyramidal and the square pyramidal structures, notably [Ni(CN)5] 3−. [Structure of Ni(CN)53−.Thomas G. Spiro, Aristides Terzis, Kenneth N. Raymond "Raman, infrared, and x-ray crystallographic evidence" Inorganic Chemistry 1970; volume 9, 2415-2420.]

As a transition state in Berry Pseudorotation

As a trigonal bipyramidal molecule undergoes Berry pseudorotation, it proceeds via an intermediary stage with the square planar geometry. Thus even though the geometry is rarely seen as the ground state, it is accessed by a low energy distortion from a trigonal bipyramid.

Pseudorotation also occurs in square pyramidal molecules. Molecules with this geometry, as opposed to trigonal bipyramidal, exhibit heavier vibration. The mechanism used is similar to the Berry mechanism.


Some molecular compounds that adopt square pyramidal geometry are XeOF4 and ClOF4- ["Square Pyramidal Molecular Geometry". VSEPR. http://www.up.ac.za/academic/chem/mol_geom/planpyr.htm] . In addition, XF5 (X = Cl, Br, I) also have square pyramidal geometries. ["Square Pyramidal Geometry". http://intro.chem.okstate.edu/1314F97/Chapter9/5BP1LP.html] [G. L. Miessler and D. A. Tarr “Inorganic Chemistry” 3rd Ed, Pearson/Prentice Hall publisher, ISBN 0-13-035471-6.]


ee also

*AXE method
*Square pyramid
*Hypervalent molecule
*Molecular geometry

External links

* [http://www.3dchem.com/3D Chem| Chemistry, Structures, and 3D Molecules]
* [http://www.iumsc.indiana.edu/IUMSC| Indiana University Molecular Structure Center]
* [http://www.phys.ncl.ac.uk/staff/njpg/symmetry/Molecules_l3d.html Point Group Symmetry| Point Group Symmetry Interactive Examples]
* [http://chemlab.truman.edu/CHEM121Labs/MolecularModeling1.htm| Molecular Modeling]
* [http://intro.chem.okstate.edu/1314F97/Chapter9/3BP.html| Animated Trigonal Planar Visual]

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