What is meant by hybridisation of atomic orbitals? Describe the shapes of sp, sp2, sp3 hybrid orbitals :
The process of intermixing of the orbitals of slightly different energies so as to redistribute their energies resulting in the formation of new set of orbitals of equivalent energies and shapes.
The new orbitals are called hybrid (or hybridized) orbitals. Thus, one s orbital and one p orbital combine to form 2sp hybrid orbitals of equivalent shapes and energies.
The shapes of sp, sp2 and sp3 hybrid orbitals are linear, trigonal planar and tetrahedral respectively.