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Chemistry LibreTexts

Molecular Geometry

  • Page ID
    677
  • Molecular geometry is the 3-dimensional shape that a molecule occupies in space. It is determined by the central atom and the surrounding atoms and electron pairs. The shape of most molecules can be predicted using the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR) method. This method states a few rules to help one determine the shape of a substance without using high technology methods such as X-ray crystallography, NMR Spectroscopy, or electron microscopy. Some of the most common shapes that can be taken are linear, trigonal planar, tetrahedral, pyramidal, and angular (or bent).