Hybridization of BF3

What is Boron Trifluoride (BF3)?

Before entering into the hybridization of BF3, let us go through a few details about Boron trifluoride. This chemical compound is an inorganic compound that is toxic in nature, but it is colourless when it is in the gaseous stage. It produces gases when reacted with moist air. It is a highly soluble substance (dihydrate) in its liquid form.

The hybridization for this molecule is sp2 hybridized. In simple terms, usually, Boron’s atomic p and s orbitals in the outer shell combine to form three sp2 hybrid orbitals, where all of the equivalent energy.

Let us look at some properties of BF3, such as molecular name, formula, and more, as tabulated below.

Name of the Molecule

Boron Trifluoride

Molecular Formula


Hybridization Type


Bond Angle



Trigonal Planar

Hybridization of BF3

Hybridization is nothing but the process of mixing atomic orbitals into new hybrid orbitals. Let us look at the boron trifluoride hybridization. They are accommodating to describe nuclear bonding and molecular geometry properties. There are various types of hybridization, like SP, SP2, SP3. BF3 is an sp2 hybridization. It is sp2 for this molecule because one π (pi) bond is needed for the double bond between the Boron, and just three σ bonds are produced per Boron atom.  The atomic S and P – orbitals in Boron outer shell mix to form three equivalent hybrid orbitals of sp2.

The BF3 molecule shape is represented as the BF3 hybridization of the central atom.

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Polarity of BF3

Polarity is the method of separating an electric charge leading to a molecule or its groups having either a moment of electric dipole or multipole. However, there is no chance for a contradiction for BF3, and it is nonpolar. When the electronegativity difference between the two atoms is less than 0.5, it is nonpolar in most cases.

Molecular Geometry for BF3

Now, let us look at the BF3 molecular geometry and bond angles.

The geometry of the molecule of BF3 is ‘Trigonal Planar.’ With the Chemistry reference, ‘Trigonal Planar’ is a model having three atoms around one atom in the middle. It is similar to peripheral atoms containing all in one plane, as all three of them are likewise with the 120° bond angles on each, which makes them an equilateral triangle.

The planar triangular geometry shape is mainly formed by the overlap between the two compounds. Further, it also has symmetric charge distribution on the central atom and is nonpolar.

The bond angle is 120°, where all the atoms are in one plane. Each of BF3 molecular geometry and bond angles also makes an equilateral triangle.

Lewis Structure of BF3

The structure of the BF3  molecule based on hybridization is given below.

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To know about the BF3 Lewis structure, we have to calculate the total valence electrons count for the BF3 molecule. BF3 has a maximum of 24 valence electrons, which we have to place around the central atom. Before going to complete the octets, do not forget to determine how many valence electrons are there in Boron Trifluoride and should place them accordingly.

Boron gets settled at the centre of the structure due to being the least electronegative. It needs six valence electrons in its outer shell. If we inspect the formal charges for the Boron Trifluoride Lewis structure, we will notice that they are zero even though Boron only had six valence electrons.

Drawing a Lewis Structure

To draw a Lewis Structure, firstly, add electrons, and draw the connectivities. As we know, there are 24 electrons here. Then, add the octets to the outer atom and the remaining electrons to the central atom. However, we know that there are no remaining electrons found. (24 – 24 = 0)

Violations While Drawing a Lewis Structure

It is necessary to remember while drawing a Lewis structure is that the Octet Rule can be violated in the three situations given below. However, each time we do not need to think about it, it is rare, and these exceptions will only take place when necessary.

Exception 1: When there is an odd number count in valence electrons (like 3,5,7)

Exception 2: If there exist very few valence electrons

Exception 3: If there are so many valence electrons

Here, the central electron does not have any of the octets as it has six particles. So, we can try to add more than one bond to decide whether the BF3 hybridization of the central atom can achieve an octet or not!

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Now, it has an octet.

Applications of BF3

The Boron Trifluoride (BF3) is found in many of the applications. BF3, as a strong Lewis acid, the catalytic properties are used for the reactions such as epoxy resins, polymerization of phenolic, and other isomerization, esterification, alkylation of aromatic hydrocarbons, and condensation reactions. 

It also can be used as a source in the manufacturing of high-purity boron isotopes like those found in the neutron radiation control applications, nuclear waste containment, and in the semiconductor industry applications and as the manufacturing of semiconductor grade silicon. BF3 is also used as a gas flux for brazing and soldering, and in the diborane production, and other boron-containing compounds.

Advantages of BF3

  • Gulbrandsen is the largest supplier of compressed BF3 gas to the North American market.

  • Our supply location in Texas and LaPorte is situated uniquely to offer quick supply and superior logistics to the Gulf Coast region of the United States.

  • Our bulk tube trailers are designed and also used for international transport, allowing us to supply bulk shipments of BF3 across all regions of the world.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain the Packaging of BF3?

Ans. BF3 can be transported in our dedicated fleet of US-DOT approved containers with the service pressures of about 1,800 PSIG:

  • Spheres loaded up to 840 kg / 1,850 lbs

  • Bulk Tube Trailers loaded up to 10 MT / 22,000 lbs

BF3 is also an example of how the Gulbrandsen provides a lower cost of chemical supply solutions via logistics innovations and manufacturing. We pioneered US-DOT approved ISO chassis and frame for shipping BF3 as an ocean cargo, making Gulbrandsen a viable and possible supplier of bulk BF3 for global consumption.

2. Provide Some Experimental Properties of BF3?

Ans. Some of the experimental properties of BF3 are listed below.

  • Forms dense white fumes in moist air - Reacts with incandescence when heated with alkaline earth metals or alkali metals except for magnesium

  • Easily forms the coordination complexes with molecules having a minimal of one unshared pair of electrons; polymerizes the unsaturated molecules; forms a stable complex with nitric acid (HNO3.2BF3)

  • Liquid or gaseous boron trifluoride does not react with chromium or mercury, even at high pressures for longer periods

  • The enthalpy of formation at 25 °C is 1136.0 kJ/mol (as gas)

  • Enthalpy of fusion is 4.20 kJ/mol at a temperature of -126.8 °C