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In the trigonal bipyramidal geometry, which position- axial or equatorial- do nonbonding electrons prefer? why?

I know its equatorial but I'm not exactly sure why

  • chem -

    Lone pairs that are non-bonding occupy more space than atoms bonding electrons and they are less crowded when in the equatorial position. Whether it is AB4U, AB3U2, or AB2U3, the non-bonding pairs are equatorial because they are less crowded there. Most texts have decent diagrams that will let you visualize the arrangement.

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