Step 1: Phosphorus (EN = 2.1) is less electronegative than chlorine (EN = 3) and F (EN = 4) → P = central atom
Step 2: Total valence e-
Group Valence Electrons
P 5A 1 × 5 e– = 5 e–
Cl 7A 2 × 7 e– = 14 e–
F 7A 3 × 7 e– = 21 e–
Total: 40 valence e–
Step 3: Lewis structures
Step 4: Dipole moments
P → surrounded by 5 atoms, 0 lone pairs → AX5 or trigonal bipyramidal
There are three possible structures for PCl2F3 with phosphorus as the central atom. Draw them and discuss how measurements of dipole moments could help distinguish among them.
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