What is the shape and hybridization of PCl3 molecule?

PCl3 molecule has a pyramidal shape in which phosphorus is sp3 hybridized.


Phosphorus trichloride is made up of one Phosphorus atom and three Chlorine atoms, having a chemical formula of PCl3. It is a volatile liquid that reacts with water and releases HCl gas. Phosphorus Trichloride (PCl3) has a total of 26 valence electrons.

  • Phosphorus’s electronic configuration in its ground state is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p2 as the total number of valence electrons is 5.
  • When it is in an excited state, one of the electrons in the s-orbital moves to the d-orbital, and the valence electrons of p orbitals get unpaired to move to the higher orbitals.
  • The electronic configuration of the Phosphorus atom in the excited state is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s23px1 3py1 3pz1.
  • During bond formation, the electrons get paired up with the unpaired valence electrons.
  • The other two valence electrons that don’t participate in bond formation move to another hybrid orbital.
  • So as four hybrid orbitals are formed, the hybridization of PCl3 is sp3.

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