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Question

ACl3 is trigonal pyramidal and ECl3 is trigonal planar. These two combine to give AECl6. Crystallographic studies and structural analysis reveal that AECl6 is an ionic compound. If the anion has a see-saw shape, then the shape of the cation is:
  1. Linear

  2. Bent

  3. Trigonal planar

  4. Pentagonal bipyramidal


Solution

The correct option is A

Linear



The anion has a see-saw shape – much like SF4:

As you can see, there needs to be a lone pair and 4 ligands. This can happen if a chloride is abstracted from ECl3 and given to ACl3. That would make ECl3 into ECl+2  - a linear molecule given there is an evident absence of a lone pair in the central atom E.

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