What is carbon hybridization?

Carbon hybridization

The carbon is a chemical element solid when it is at room temperature and depending on conditions can be found in nature in different ways. It is considered one of the most important elements of organic chemistry and is also an essential part of all living things. It is also a basic element in the formation of organic connections and they tend to form different bonds when they mix orbitals, thus contributing to the formation of different structures and properties.

Carbon hybridization What it is, characteristics, what it is for, types 

What is carbon hybridization?

The hybridization of the carbon is a kind of mixture of orbital considered pure in excited state to thereby be able to form hybrid orbitals that are equivalent and have a specific orientation in space.

  • What does it consist of
  • What is carbon hybridization for?
  • features
  • Types of carbon hybridization
  • Importance of carbon hybridization
  • What other elements besides carbon present hybridization

What does it consist of

The hybridization of the carbon consists of the combination that is between two atomic orbitals pure to thereby achieve create a new orbital which is considered a hybrid and also has a number of characteristics. In order to explain what it consists of, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the orbital layer of carbon, such as shape , energy and size , all of which depend at all times on the electronic configuration that each of its atoms has.

The characteristics of the orbitals will always depend on the arrangement of the electrons , from the one closest to the nucleus to the one in the outermost part or valence shell. It is also important to remember that the only electrons that have the ability to form a bond are those that are found on the outermost levels , therefore, when the bond between two atoms can be created, an overlap of orbitals occurs .

In this way it is understood that hybridization is a phenomenon that strictly belongs to the molecules of the atom and that these can provide pure atomic orbitals producing the same amount of hybrid orbitals that make possible the bonds between the elements.

What is carbon hybridization for?

Carbon hybridization serves to know and demonstrate the geometry and the different types of properties that carbon molecules have that cannot be demonstrated using the valence bond theory. It serves to give the composition of the orbitals of atoms one atom to thereby achieve have orbitals that are hybrids .


The main characteristics of carbon hybridization are the following:

  • It is a mixture that occurs between orbitals considered pure .
  • It is a law that applies in the field of chemistry .
  • It serves to demonstrate the geometry and the different properties that molecules have.
  • Attributes the composition of pure orbitals to form hybrid orbitals .
  • The orbitals to be able to be subjected to hybridization must be in a state of excitation.
  • In the case of carbon , the orbitals that are at level two manage to accommodate 4 electrons in a hybrid orbital known as sp.
  • Carbon can share up to four valence electrons .
  • The carbon atoms that are formed through hybridization can form chains of atoms and rings .

Types of carbon hybridization

There are three different types of carbon hybridization which are:

Type sp 3

It is based on the result of the combination of the s orbital and the p orbitals to get at the end of the union four orbitals that turn out to be identical to each other, this produces a carbon with four simple but identical bonds . This type of bond formed is known as sigma . They have a tetrahedral structural geometry due to the repulsion effects that occur between the electrons that are forming the atom and this allows the bonds to acquire the maximum amount of separation between adjacent bonds.

Type sp 2

Its most relevant characteristics include the combination of the s orbital and the two p orbitals , to result in a non-hybrid p orbital. This type of orbital has the ability to form a lateral overlapping bond and the combination of its orbitals also has a flat trigonal geometric structure , so the angle formed between the hybrid bonds will have a measure of 120 °.

Type sp

It is the combination of the s orbital with a single p orbital . This joint produces a linear type structure that has an angle of 180 °. In it, the non-hybrid p orbitals overlap laterally and are the ones that form a triple bond, with two pi-like bonds.

Importance of carbon hybridization

Its main importance lies in the ability that is acquired through the hybridization of carbon to be able to create new chemical compounds and new molecules through the union of two atoms considered elemental. Through this process it is also possible to create orbitals with greater stability, which makes the bonds of the molecules also more stable.

What other elements besides carbon present hybridization

In addition to carbon, it is possible to perform hybridization on elements such as silicon , sulfur , oxygen and nitrogen . These elements can be subjected to this process using one of the three types of hybridization that exist. Hybridization can also occur in the elements that are located in group 4 and 5 of the Periodic Table , these elements are generally supplied with light or heat.

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