This activity makes use of Jmol animations created by Prof. Marion Cass at Carleton College to illustrate the Berry Pseudorotation in trigonal bipyramidal molecules such as PF5. Students explore the animations and answer a series of questions that lead to a description of this intramolecular motion that exchanges equatorial and axial atoms in trigonal bipyramidal molecules.
Link to paper by Marion Cass in J. Chem. Educ. 2006, 83, 336.
Link to original paper on Berry Pseudorotation, J. Chem. Phys. 1960, 32, 933-938.
- Visualize the intramolecular motion that results in the exchange of equatorial and axial atoms in trigonal bipyramidal molecules.
- Explain how the Berry Pseudorotation results in a single resonance in the 19F NMR spectrum of PF5.