Hybridization of orbitals

In this post,  I am going to describe you about orbital hybridization which is an important concept to understand. In order to have a clear knowledge about orbital hybridization what we wanna know are,

  • What is an orbital?
  • Why does hybridization happen?
  • How does hybridization happen?
  • How can we identify hybridization of any element given in a structural  formula?  

What is an orbital?

Orbitals are the places where electrons are accumulated.Electrons behave as particles and wave in nature.There are 4 types of orbitals presence, namely thy are

  1. s orbital.
  2. p orbital
  3. d orbital
  4. f orbital 
Now let's  find little bit about those orbitals.(hey friends these are the very basics  about orbitals because this is classical chemistry, once you study quantum chemistry you can study much deeper about those)


S orbitals is circular in shape.And it is the orbital that have lowest energy.This guy can accommodate  two electron pairs which means 4 electrons.

For an example let's take B(Boron).So what is the electron configuration of this element?it is,

     Now note that the maximum electrons that S orbital can accommodate are 4 electrons.

  In following image you can see the shape of the S orbital.

Don't worry about those x,y and z-axes.They are just the 3 planes or you can just say that it is  the way we draw it in a paper.

So guys next take a look at the P-orbital.


Here also we need to know only the shape of the orbital and number of electrons that can accommodate in this orbital.

Shape of the P orbital is looks like a dumbell shape.Yes, that's right, the equipment you use to build muscles.But this orbital shape is like an old dumbell which is used for a decade.Well, what I want to say is.... , okay take a look at the shape.(cuz I don't know how to describe the shape  in exact way  because this is a weird dumbell )

In 2-D:

In 3-D:

Now the shape part is over.So let's take a look at how many  electrons are fortunate have an accommodation in P-orbital.P-orbital is willing to give accomodation  for  6 lucky winners of electrons which mean 3 electrons pairs.

Well, we just  finished basic facts of  s and p orbitals that we needed in order to understand hybridization.So let's proceed to d and f orbitals.I discuss the shape and the number of fortune electrons there also.


Shape of this weirder than the s and p orbitals. So let's take a look,

We can't have a clear drawing for d orbital in 2-D plane instead we can have a 3-D view,

3-D view:

So I told you guys this is a weirder shape, you don't need to think about how it happens and so many things regarding those, because it simply worthless for you.Next what I wanna discuss is how many electrons can d orbital accommodate?It can accommodate 5 electrons pairs or 10 electrons.


f-orbital possess the most complex and weirdest shape out of the orbitals you can confirm it by looking at following image.Here also we can have a better view only by having a 3-D view.

So how many electrons f orbital can give facility to accommodate?

There  is 14 rooms available for electrons, but if they like to live as a pair they would have only 7 rooms

Well, now we just finish orbital part.I hope now you have a clear understanding about orbitals in chemistry(not in space)

Why does hybridization happen?

It happens due to the fact that each and every  orbital like to be in a minimum energy level. In order to fulfill this favor, they like to get hybridized Now probably you are in doubt about  why they like to in lower energy level. It's because when orbitals have less energy  they are stable. Always  keep it mind that electrons, orbitals  are like to be in lower energy level. If they have higher energy level they tend to behave naughtier  which cause them to be  unstable and destroy their freedom which is not a good thing.(so the simple way to remember this is orbitals are naughty but afraid of   being get boycotted their freedom)

Lemme ask you a question. What is the difference between hybrid cars and non-hybrid cars?

Yes, you know that, the efficiency of hybrid cars higher than most of non-hybrid cars.This concept  is true for orbital hybridization also.

Now I am sure that you  know why hybridization occurs. So let's  jump into the next section.

How does hybridization happen?

As I mentioned earlier, orbitals like to be in lower energy level.They can't  be stable by living alone. Yes you get the idea. This is true for our lives also because you can't be stable by living alone you wanna interact with others  that's when you are going to be stable in a good manner. So this is true for orbitals also.
Now it's clear that  orbitals can't get hybridized if they live alone or you can say like this also "When an atom lives alone, orbitals behave alone when orbital behave alone  it can't get hybridized.If they wanna hybridized they would communicate, interact and get fit with other orbitals which ultimately gives  them hybridization statues.

Well, now let's cross over to a chemistry example to show you how the hybridization occurs.

As the example let's take methane.The structure of it is shown below.

Here the carbon atoms possess    $sp^3$  hybridization.Now lemme give you the way how this thing happens.

Before that I am asking you this question. What is  the way that  the orbitals share the energy?. The answer for that is by sharing their electrons.

The difference in energy(electrons) in orbitals for this  carbon atom is shown below

So the bottom line of this is if any atom's orbitals want to be hybridized  what they want to do is they should delocalize the electrons to its own orbitals in a suitable way.But remember that orbital hybridize when they form bonds(communicating with other atoms).So what I want to depict you is don't  get the wrong idea that orbitals get hybridized when they live alone.They get hybridized when they want to form a bond with other elements.

This scenario also lines up for human relationships(human bonds) also.!

Okay, let's proceed to last and the most important thing of identifying  hybridization of atoms when we have the structural formula of a molecule.How can we identify hybridization of any element given in a structural  formula?

How can we identify hybridization of any element given in a structural formula?:

In this section, I am going to describe you the easiest way available to determine the hybridization of any given atom of any bond.To have a better understanding, I walk you through examples.Then you can  grab this method correctly and thoroughly.

Note: The term hybridization of above table is for the hybridization of carbon atom(s) present in the molecule

Let's take the  first example. It is ethylene.

So let's discuss  why the hybridization of the carbon atom in here is $sp$. For that take a look at the bellow image.

Here for each carbon atom you have two electron zones.So you can conclude that hybridization of them are $sp$.To have a more clarity check the below image.

So here is the summary for this section,

Likewise, you can go up to as you like, but there is an end like everything does.It ends up when hybridization becomes $sp^3 d^10 f^14$.

Now you have a question whey there is no hybridization when there is one electron zone.It is because it have only one orbital.The  only example for this is hydrogen.

Well, my friends thanks for reading up to this level.I can assure you that you have full knowledge about orbital hybridization and I hope you  enjoy this article. And hey don't forget to give me a feedback, I am waiting.

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