3D Structures - Tetrahedral Geometry of Methane

Methane exhibits sp3 hybridization as do many other molecules in organic chemistry.  VSEPR tells us that in such systems the 4 hydrogen atoms repel (actually electrons in each bond repel) one another such that they are pushed to the far corners of a box.  You will also notice that two hydrogens and the carbon atom are always in the same plane, leaving the other two hydrogens out of the plane.

Take NoteKnowing that the carbon atom, C (central atom), and two H's are in the same plane makes it easy to draw tetrahedral geometries on a computer or paper.
  • Click the Bond Angle button and rotate the structure to see the 109.5 bond angle
  • Click the Show Plane button and then rotate the structure to see the H-C-H plane
  • Click Reset and then Click the Show Box button to see the methane inscribed in a box.


Geometry of Methane

Bond Angle Show Plane Show Box Reset