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Drawing \(XeF_6\) without an expanded octet

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  • Most descriptions of the bonding in \(XeF_6\) invoke an "expanded octet" model. However, an expanded octet is not required to draw \XeF_6\). Alternatively, the structure of \(XeF_6\) can be described as a resonance hybrid of octet-conforming structures, as shown below.

    The calculated Mullkin charge at the xenon in \(XeF_6\) is approximately +2.3, which is very similar to the charge of +3 that is predicted based on this resonance model, and suggests that "expanded octet" is not an entirely valid model.

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