Octahedral in Molecular Geometry: Shape & Structure

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Alcohols & Alkanols: Classification & Functional Group

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Molecular Geometry
  • 0:22 VSEPR Theory
  • 1:25 Octahedral Shape
  • 1:59 Bond Angles in…
  • 2:28 Examples of Octahedral…
  • 3:01 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mia Primas

Mia has taught math and science and has a Master's Degree in Secondary Teaching.

In this lesson you will learn about the shape and structure of octahedral molecules. We will discuss the angles formed within the molecules, then we will look at a few examples.

Molecular Geometry

When we think of the structures of molecules in chemistry, we usually think of them as two-dimensional shapes. They're usually drawn this way for simplicity. However, many molecules have a three-dimensional structure. Molecular geometry is a type of geometry used to describe the shape of a molecule.

VSEPR Theory

When identifying the shape of a molecule, we need to first know the number of bonds and lone electron pairs with the molecule. The lone electron pairs are the electrons that surround the central atom but are not bonded to another atom. The total number of bonds and lone electron pairs determines the steric number of the molecule.

The presence of lone electron pairs affects the shape of the molecule. According to the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion theory (VSEPR), electron pairs repel each other whether they are bonded or in lone pairs. This repulsion is due to the negative charge of the electrons. Like charges repel each other. VSEPR theory also states that the electrons and atoms of the molecule will arrange themselves to minimize the repulsion. The arrangement that takes place is what gives the molecule its geometric structure. Octahedral molecules have six atoms bonded to the central atom and no lone electron pairs, making the steric number equal to six.

Octahedral Shape

We know that an octagon is a polygon with eight sides and an octuplet is a group of eight. After all, the prefix 'octa-' means eight. So you may be wondering why a molecule with six bonds is called an octahedral. To answer this we have to look at the shape that is formed by the outer atoms of the molecule. Imagine that the outer atoms are all connected. We can see that the connected atoms form triangles on each side of the molecule. If we were to unfold this shape and see it in two-dimensions, it would appear as eight connected triangles.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account