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Dr. Gutow's Molecular Shapes Web Site
Introduction The Model (VSEPR) Examples
The VSEPR Model

The electrons around the atoms in a molecule repel each other.  They move to be as far apart as possible while still maintaining the bonding within the molecule.  The procedure for using the model is as follows:

Below is a Summary Table of the categories and names for the various sub-shapes.
VSEPR Summary Table
Number of Groups
Basic Shape
(click links below to see examples)
Sub-Shapes
A = central atom
X = atom attached to central atom
E = nonbonding electron group on central atom
Diatomic (any number)
Linear Diatomic
diatomic molecule
Generic Formula

AX
Shape Name

Linear
2
Linear Triatomic
linear triatomic
AX2
Linear
3
Trigonal Planar
trigonal planar molecule
AX3

AX2E
Trigonal Planar

Bent
4
Tetrahedral
tetrahedral molecule
AX4

AX3E

AX2E2
Tetrahedral

Trigonal Pyramidal

Bent
5
Trigonal Bipyramidal
trigonal bipyramidal molecule
AX5

AX4E

AX3E2

AX2E3
Trigonal Bipyramidal

See-Saw

T-Shaped

Linear
6





Last Table Update: 4/5/07
Expires: ---
J. Gutow
Octahedral
Octahedral molecule
AX6

AX5E

AX4E2
Octahedral

Square Pyramidal

Square Planar

Last updated: September 1, 2013
Expires: ---
J.  Gutow