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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Hypervalent molecules

A hypervalent molecule (the phenomenon is sometimes colloquially known as expanded octet) is a molecule that contains one or more main group elements apparently bearing more than eight electrons in their valence shells. Phosphorus pentachloride (PCl5), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), chlorine trifluoride (ClF3), the chlorite (ClO2) ion, and the triiodide (I3) ion are examples of hypervalent molecules.
Source : Wikipedia

Hypervalent molecules were first studied and defined in the 1920s. But since then, various research groups have not only disputed the definition(s), but also called into question the entire concept.

100 years after their 'discovery', disagreements are still running.

Both the term and concept of hypervalency still fall under criticism. In 1984, in response to this general controversy, Paul von Ragué Schleyer proposed the replacement of 'hypervalency' with use of the term hypercoordination because this term does not imply any mode of chemical bonding and the question could thus be avoided altogether.
The concept itself has been criticized by Ronald Gillespie who, based on an analysis of electron localization functions, wrote in 2002 that “as there is no fundamental difference between the bonds in hypervalent and non-hypervalent (Lewis octet) molecules there is no reason to continue to use the term hypervalent.”
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