Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres

Hybridization of H2O

Last updated date: 02nd Dec 2023
Total views: 21.3k
Views today: 1.21k
hightlight icon
highlight icon
highlight icon
share icon
copy icon


Only the center atom undergoes the hybridization process, according to the general rule of hybridization. We concentrate on the oxygen atom during the creation of a water molecule. The oxygen atom is \[sp^{3}\] hybridized during \[H_{2}O\] hybridization.

  • Name of the Molecule: Water

  • Molecular Formula: \[H_{2}O\]

  • Hybridization Type: \[sp^{3}\]

  • Bond Angle: 104.5o

  • Geometry: Angular or V-shaped

The central atom, which is hybridized, is oxygen. In the formation of the water molecule, there are three 2p orbitals and one 2s orbital. They are combined to generate the sp3 hybrid orbitals.

Furthermore, each hydrogen atom forms covalent connections with two hybrid orbitals, and two hybrid orbitals are occupied by lone pairs during the process.

Geometry of Hybridization

The \[sp^{3}\] molecule is oxygen that has been hybridized to form \[H_{2}O\] molecules. Lone pairings equip two hybrid orbitals, while the other two are engaged in hydrogen atom bonding. 

Since lone pairs do not contribute to a molecule's geometry, \[H_{2}O\] has an angular shape.

The repulsion of (lone pair-lone pair) is greater than that of (lone pair-bond pair) or (bond pair-bond pair). As a result, the angle formed by H-O-H is 104.5°, which is less than the ideal tetrahedral angle of 109°28′.

The steric number of the central atom (O) is 2+2 since \[H_{2}O\] molecules have two lone pairs and two bond pairs, 

However, it has the exception of the odd electron species and stereochemically inactive lone pairs, where 

steric no. = lone pairs + bond pairs.

FAQs on Hybridization of H2O

1. What is Meant by the \[SP^{3}\] Hybridization of Water?

The valence orbitals of an atom encompassed by a tetrahedral arrangement of lone pairs and bonding pairs having a set of four \[SP^{3}\] hybrid orbitals are termed as the hybridization of \[H_{2}O\]. The hybrids are an outcome of the blending of one (s) orbital and all three (p) orbitals that generate four similar \[SP^{3}\] hybrid orbitals. Refer to the below image to understand well the mechanism of \[SP^{3}\] hybridization in water. If you notice, then you will find that each of these hybrid orbitals is pointing in a different corner of a tetrahedron.

(Image to be added soon)

2. Are There Any Criteria to Observe a Particular Type of Hybridization?

Yes. Following are the set of rules that are conjectured in order to establish to understand the type of hybridization in a compound or an ion.

  1. Calculate the total number of lone pairs of electrons

  2. Calculate the number of valence electrons.

  3. Calculate the number of octet or duplex

  4. Evaluate the total number of used orbital = Number of duplex or octet + Number of lone pairs of electrons

In case of no lone pair of electrons, then the \[H_{2}O\] hybridization and geometry of orbitals and molecules will be different.

3. What are the conditions to observe a specific type of Hybridization?

The following are a set of rules that have been proposed to determine the type of hybridization in a chemical or an ion.

  • Calculate the total number of electron lone pairs.

  • Determine how many valence electrons there are.

  • Calculate the number of octets or duplexes in a network.

  • Number of duplex or octet + Number of lone pairs of electrons = total number of utilized orbitals

  • In the absence of a lone pair of electrons, the \[H_{2}O\] hybridization and orbital and molecular geometry will be changed.

4. What is \[H_{2}O\]?

Water (\[H_{2}O\]) is an inorganic chemical compound that is transparent, tasteless, odorless, and practically colorless.

It is the main component of the Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living things (in which it acts as a solvent).

Though it lacks calories and organic nutrients, it is essential for all known life forms. As stated by its chemical formula, \[H_{2}O\], each of its molecules has one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds.

5. What are the physical and chemical properties of \[H_{2}O\]?

Indeed, water in nature almost usually contains dissolved chemicals, necessitating additional processes to create chemically pure water. In normal terrestrial conditions, water is the only common substance that exists as a solid, liquid, and gas.

  • Water is unique among liquids in that it loses density as it freezes.

  • At a pressure of one atmosphere (atm), ice melts or water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), while the water boils or vapour condenses at 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Although humans have specialised sensors that can detect the presence of water in their mouths, and frogs are believed to be able to smell it, pure water is commonly regarded as tasteless and odourless.

  • Pure water appears blue due to light absorption in the 600-800 nm region.

  • A molecule of water in the liquid or solid state can make up to four hydrogen bonds with surrounding molecules due to its polarity.

  • The electrical conductivity of pure water increases when a small amount of ionic substance, such as common salt, is dissolved.

6. What effect does \[H_{2}O\] have on life including anabolism and catabolism?

Water has a variety of biological qualities that are essential for the spread of life. It accomplishes this by allowing organic chemicals to react in ways that allow replication to occur. All known forms of life necessitate the presence of water.

Water is crucial for many metabolic processes in the body, as well as a solvent in which many of the body's solutes dissolve. Anabolism and catabolism are both components of metabolism.

Water is taken from molecules during anabolism to grow larger molecules. Water is used in catabolism to break bonds and form smaller molecules (e.g., glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids to be used for fuels for energy use or other purposes). 

These metabolic activities would be unable to be carried out without the presence of water.

7. What does the chemical bonding of water suggest?

Water (\[H_{2}O\]) is a simple triatomic bent molecule with \[C_{2V}\] molecular symmetry and a 104.5° bond angle between the center oxygen and hydrogen atoms.

Even though it is one of the simplest triatomic compounds, its chemical bonding scheme is complicated since several of its bonding parameters, such as bond angle, ionization energy, and electronic state energy, cannot be explained by a single unified bonding model.

There are numerous classic and advanced bonding models which are utilized to adequately explain chemical bonding. They are namely:

  • The simple Lewis and VSEPR structure

  • Valence bond theory

  • Molecular orbital theory

  • Isovalent hybridization

  • Bent's rule

A detailed study can be obtained from Vedantu's website.