Hybridization

Single bonds around carbon and other second-row elements tend to have characteristics of both s– and p– orbitals, a property known as orbital hybridization. All four C-H bonds in CH4 are identical in strength and have identical H-C-H bond angles of 109.5°, which would not be the case if one C-H bond were in an s-orbital and the other three were in the 2p orbitals arranged at 90° from each other. This is rationalized by proposing 4 hybrid sp3 orbitals, each with 25% s and 75% p character.

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