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Química Nova

On-line version ISSN 1678-7064


CONSTANTINO, Mauricio Gomes  and  SOUZA, Altamiro Xavier de. Models for the sp3 carbon atom: four pyramids in the tetrahedron. Quím. Nova [online]. 1998, vol.21, n.5, pp. 662-665. ISSN 1678-7064.

We describe a paper model for the sp3 carbon atom, consisting of four pyramids that can be assembled to produce a tetrahedron. The main feature of this model is that, when two of the pyramids are properly put together, the solid thus formed is an "open" tetrahedron, containing edges connecting the center of the tetrahedron to its vertices. The student can easily imagine the whole tetrahedron and, at the same time, he can observe its center and the lines corresponding to the directions of sp3 orbitals.

Keywords : molecular models; models for the sp3 carbon atom; paper models.

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