Structure of oxides and oxoacids of phosphorus
Phosphorous forms phosphorous trioxide, phosphorous tetra oxide and phosphorous pentaoxides
In phosphorous trioxide four phosphorous atoms lie at the corners of a tetrahedron and six oxygen atoms along the edges. The P-O bond distance is 165.6 pm which is shorter than the single bond distance of P-O (184 pm) due to pπ-dπ bonding and results in considerable double bond character.
In P4O10 each P atoms form three bonds to oxygen atom and also an additional coordinate bond with an oxygen atom.
Terminal coordinate P-O bond length is 143 pm, which is less than the expected single bond distance. This may be due to lateral overlap of filled p orbitals of an oxygen atom with empty d orbital on phosphorous.
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