Question

Boron is the first element of the third period. It forms several electron-deficient and hydride compounds. In hydrides, diborane is an important compound. In which compound does 2p pi-2p pi bonding occur?

  • BF_3
  • BCl_3
  • B Br_3
  • BI_3

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Answer

Boron trifluoride ($BF_3$) is the compound where 2p π - 2p π bonding occurs.

In this compound:

  1. Boron, with atomic number 5, has the electron configuration $1s^2 2s^2 2p^1$.
  2. The 2p orbital of boron can overlap with the 2p orbitals of fluorine atoms, resulting in the formation of 2p π - 2p π bonds.

Other compounds like $BCl_3$, $BBr_3$, and $BI_3$ do not form 2p π - 2p π bonds because chlorine, bromine, and iodine have larger atomic sizes compared to fluorine. This increased size makes effective overlapping of their p-orbitals with boron's p-orbitals non-viable.

Thus, boron trifluoride, $BF_3$, exhibits 2p π - 2p π bonding, making it the correct answer:

  • BF_3

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