7 Tetrahedral Molecule Examples : Explanation And Detailed Facts

In this article, we shall have a look at various facts and characteristics of tetrahedral molecule examples .The observed bond angle is 109.5 degrees Celsius.

The examples are listed below-

The tetrahedral molecule examples are discussed below .


Silane is a molecule of tetrahedral geometry. So it is a molecule where in the central atom is one silicon and has four attachments, which can be an inorganic group or an organic group. In this article, we shall study about SiH4.

Method of preparation for SiH4

By reacting hydrochloric acid (dilute in concentration) on magnesium silicide (Mg2Si).

The reaction has to be carried out in a flask wherein instead of air hydrogen is present. The obtained mixture (silane +hydrogen) is inflammable. The condensation process with air (liquid) separates out silane from the mixture.

Properties of Silane

  1. It is a colourless gas in appearance.
  2. Observed to have a quite unpleasant (repulsive) odour.
  3. Its observed melting point is -185 degrees Celsius and boils at -111.9 degrees Celsius.
  4. Its density is said to be 1.313 g/L
  5. Reacts very slowly with water.
  6. It is said to be pyrophoric meaning has the potential to undergo spontaneously react with air without requiring any external ignition. (Meaning highly inflammable).
tetrahedral molecule examples
tetrahedral molecule examples

Image credit : Wikipedia

Applications of Silane:

  • Have got essential applications in industries, medical field.
  • Many a time they find applications as coupling agents.
  • In organic, inorganic chemistry they are sometimes used as reducing agents.

Precautions to be kept in mind while handling silane:

 It can be dangerous as it is inflammable and must be handled with care.  Also can pose danger to humans as it is quite toxic and causes irritation to the skin and various membranes. Hence should be used very carefully.

Read more about : Is HBr Acid : Weak or strong, Why, How and Detailed Facts

Silicon Tetrachloride (SiCl4)

It is an inorganic compound.

Let’s have a look at its methods of preparation:

  • It can be prepared by passing chlorine (dry) on silicon (should be preheated).
  • By reacting Silica, charcoal together where in this mixture should be red hot. Silicon tetrachloride distils as a colourless liquid (fuming).

Properties of SiCl4

  1. It is a gas which is colourless in appearance.
  2. Its odour is observed to be pungent.
  3. Its observed melting point is -68.74 degrees Celsius and boils at a temperature of 57.65 degrees Celsius.
  4. Its density is 1.483 g/cm3.
  5. Reacts with water and soluble in chloroform, benzene.
Image Credit : Wikipedia

Uses of SiCl4 (some applications)

  • Also used in preparing semiconductors.
  • Finds applications in the ceramic industry as well.
  • It is a very important component while preparing of good quality silica, silicon (commercial purpose).

Precautions and Care:

Not safe humans as upon inhalation can cause throat to sore and also burning sensation. Said to cause a lot of pollution as well.

Read more about : Is O2 a triple bond: Why, How, Characteristics and Detailed Facts

Stannic Chloride (SnCl4)

It is also known as Tin (IV) Chloride or stannic chloride and was discovered first by Andrea Libanius. It is an inorganic type of compound.

Let’s have a look at the methods of preparation for stannic chloride.

  • It can be prepared by the passage of chlorine on the tin (should be in molten state). This particular reaction has to be performed in a retort. The required product is distilled with mercuric chloride (excess).
  • Can be also prepared by reacting chlorine (gas) and tin (temperature115 degrees Celsius)

Properties of SnCl4:

  • It is a colourless liquid (fuming).
  • Its odour is extremely unpleasant.
  •  It’s observed melting point is-34.07 degrees Celsius and its boiling point is found to be 114.15 degrees Celsius.
  • Its observed density is 2.26 g/cm3.
  • Reacts very easily with water (hygroscopic).
  • Dissolves in (Cl4, toluene, benzene etc.)
Image credit : Wikipedia

Applications of SnCl4:

-It has got an important application in preparing organotin compounds (precursor) which is used as stabilisers (catalyst, polymer). Used as a catalyst in reactions like Friedel-crafts.

Precautions and Care

During the decomposition process of SnCl4, toxic fumes are released which can be quite harmful to human life, hence should be handled with care.

Phosphoric Acid (H3PO4)

Phosphoric acid is also known as monophosphoric acid, it is considered as quite a weak acid.

Let’s have look at methods of preparation of H3PO4 

  • By preparing a mixture of orthophosphorus pentoxide in water (such that it is properly dissolved in water) and then heated till it starts boiling and then our required product is formed.
  • We can also prepare it by hydrolysing phosphorus pentachloride (using water).
  • Large scale production can be carried out by the process called as wet process wherein minerals containing phosphate such as calcium hydroxyapatite is reacted with sulphuric acid.

Some Properties of H3PO4:

  1. It is a white-coloured solid in appearance.
  2. Does not have a characteristic odour.
  3. Its melting point is 40-42 degrees Celsius and boils at around a temperature of 212 degrees Celsius.
  4. Its density is observed to be 1.6845 gcm-3.
  5. React with water and found to be soluble in alcohol such as ethanol.
Image credit : Wikipedia

Applications of H3PO4:

  • It is used as fertilizer.
  • Finds application in the skincare industry to adjust the pH of cosmetics.
  • Used in dairy and food industries as the sanitizing agent.
  • Also used in preparing activated carbon.

Precautions and Care

As we know H3PO4 is present in soft drinks, so excess intake of soft drinks is seen to cause osteoporosis in women in the later stage of life. Also, it can cause kidney stones.

Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)

It is also known as tetrachloromethane.

Method to prepare Carbon tetrachloride:

  • It can be prepared by reacting chloroform and chlorine. Can also be prepared by chlorinating carbon disulphide.

Some Properties :

  • It is found to be a colourless liquid in appearance.
  • Has a sweet kind of odour similar to chloroform.
  • Its melting point is around -22.92 degrees Celsius and boils at a temperature of 76.72 degrees Celsius.
  • Has a density of 1.586 g/cm-3 (w.r.t. liquid)
  • Soluble in water at 0 degrees Celsius and is also soluble in alcohol and benzene.
Image Credit :Wikipedia

Application of CCl4

  • Used in preparing refrigeration fluid, propellant (in aerosol cans).
  • Also used as pesticide and degreasing agent.
  • Most important used in fire extinguishers.

Precautions and Care:

It is very toxic, hence contact with eyes, skin should be avoided and should not be inhaled. Should be kept in a container wherein air should not penetrate.

Methane (CH4)

Carbon is the central atom in this molecule and four atoms of hydrogen are attached to it. It is the simplest alkane.

Methods of preparation:

  • It is naturally found below the ground (and even under seafloor), its formation is due to processes like geological and biological. When dead organic matter is decomposed methane is released.

Some Properties of Methane:

  • It is a gas (colourless) in appearance.
  • It does not have a characteristic odour.
  • Its melting point is found to be -182.45 degrees Celsius and boils at a temperature of -161.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Its density is 422.8 g/L (at a temperature of -162 degrees Celsius in liquid form).
  • Soluble in alcohol like ethanol, methanol and benzene.
Image Credit : Wikipedia

Applications of methane:

  • It is used as fuel.
  • Also used for preparing various organic chemicals.
  • Is also used for the production of carbon black which is used in repairing paint, ink (printing)
  • Can be used for the generation of electricity.
  • And sometimes for heating, cooling processes for houses.

Precautions and Care:

Mixture (methane + air) is observed to be explosive. When methane gas is cold in form, it has the potential to cause burns if comes in contact with eyes and skin.

Xenon Tetroxide (XeO4)

The oxidation state of the xenon in the molecule is +8.

Preparation methods for xenon tetroxide:

  • By the reaction of Barium perxenate and sulphuric acid. The perxenic acid being unstable can be dehydrated to produce xenon tetroxide.
  • It can be prepared by carrying oxidation of xenates using ozone (the reaction should be carried out in a basic medium).
Image credit : Wikipedia

Some Properties of xenon tetroxide:

  • It is a yellow coloured solid.
  • It is seen to have a melting point of -35.9 degrees Celsius and boils at 0 degrees Celsius.
  • Observed to react with water.

Sania Jakati

This is Sania Jakati from Goa. I am an aspiring chemist pursuing my post graduation in organic chemistry. I believe education is the key element that moulds you into a great human being both mentally and physically. I'm glad to be a member of scintillating branch of chemistry and will try my best to contribute whatever I can from my side and Lambdageeks is the best platform where I can share as well as gain knowledge at the same time. LinkedIn-https://www.linkedin.com/in/sania-jakati-0954101bb

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