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What is the molecular geometry of NF3?

Question:

What is the molecular geometry of NF3?

How to Determine the Shape of a Molecule

Unlike what we probably think in our minds, most molecules have distinct three-dimensional shapes, which are sometimes referred to as 'molecular geometries.' In order to determine the molecular geometry of any molecule, we need to consider both how many bonds the central atom contains as well as how many lone pairs (non-bonding electrons) it has.

Answer and Explanation:

In the case of NF3 (nitrogen trifluoride), nitrogen is the central atom and contains three bonds (one to each fluorine) and one lone pair. The lone pair actually causes the bonds to shift downward towards one another and causes the molecule to adopt what's called a trigonal pyramidal molecular geometry.


Learn more about this topic:

Covalent Bonding and Electron Shells: Definitions, Relationship & the Octet Rule

from Science 101: Intro to Natural Sciences

Chapter 1 / Lesson 7
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