Dr. Gutow's Molecular Shapes Web Site
Introduction The Model (VSEPR) Examples
If your browser is Java capable you will get snappier performance if you use Java.
AX3 and AX2E Configurations
Molecules in this category may have three or four atoms.  The configuration is specified as AX3 for the case with four total atoms and AX2E for the case with only three atoms.  The "E" represents the electron group that is not involved in bonding.  Molecules of the type AX3 are trigonal planar and molecules of the type AX2E are bent.
Example AX3 Molecules (Trigonal Planar)
FormulaLewis StructureLive 3-D viewDownload for Jmol/Rasmol
BF3 BF3.pdb
CO32- CO3(minus2).pdb
SO3 SO3.pdb

Example AX2E Molecules (bent)
FormulaLewis StructureLive 3-D viewDownload for Jmol/Rasmol
The bottom structure is the best based on the formal charges (small numbers next to each atom).
Molecular Viewer Instructions
Brief Instructions for Molecular Viewer
(The Open Source Applet JSmol/Jmol)

When you select a molecule you will see a rotating image of the molecule displayed above using the Jmol/JSmol applet.
Rotate the molecule Hold down the mouse button and drag the cursor over the image.
Zoom the view Hold down the shift key and the mouse button while dragging up or down over the image
Start/stop automatic spin Right-click over the image and select "on" or "off" from the "Spin" submenu. On a single button mouse try holding the <option>, <ctrl> or <cmd> keys down while holding the mouse button.

Additional instructions for the viewer.

If your browser is not Javascript capable you can still download the molecule files readable by Jmol by clicking on the link and then use Jmol to view the files.  See the tutorial introduction for more information.
Last Update: November 17, 2016
by J. Gutow
Expires: --