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Question

Each carbon atom in benzene is in which state of hybridization?

A

sp3

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B

sp2

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C

sp

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D

s3p

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Solution

The correct option is B

sp2


Look at the structure of benzene.

enter image source here
Every carbon atom in the benzene ring has a double bond with a neighbouring carbon atom and a single bond with another carbon atom. It is also bonded to one hydrogen atom with a single bond.

So, each carbon atom has 3 sigma bonds and 1 pi bond. This is possible only if the carbon atom is sp2 hybridized where we get 3 sp2 hybrid orbitals to form 3 sigma bonds and 1 unhybridised p orbital to form a pi bond.

Another feature of sp2 hybridisation is that it leads to a trigonal planar geometry which is also true in this case.

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