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ERIC Number: EJ1202260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
VSEPR-Plus: Correct Molecular and Electronic Structures Can Lead to Better Student Conceptual Models
Esselman, Brian J.; Block, Stephen B.
Journal of Chemical Education, v96 n1 p75-81 Jan 2019
The VSEPR model has well-established limitations in its ability to represent accurate molecular and electronic geometries of simple molecules, which can create a significant need for students to relearn structure and bonding concepts in organic chemistry. We present an alternate method for describing molecular geometries and electronic structures to students that is far more consistent with experimental observations than VSEPR. Our alternate method of teaching structures extends VSEPR to account for conjugation to adjacent p-systems and the experimentally observed nature of lone pairs, which is supported by computational chemistry via WebMO's HTML-export feature. If implemented, it allows students to reconcile hybridization, valence bond theory, molecular orbital theory, and resonance structures into a single coherent picture of electronic structure and bonding for organic molecules.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc. and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A