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Shape and Stabilisation

The hybridisation and therefore shape of a radical can be anywhere between sp3 and sp2, although the latter is the more common (with the unpaired electron in the p orbital) – there is some preference for it, shown by the difficulty of forming radicals in bridged species that cannot reach sp2 hybridisation.

Introduction to Radicals

A radical is a highly reactive species which has one unpaired electron. They tend to be formed by homolytic fission of single bonds – this is in contrast to the heterolytic fission which dominates the chemistry of nucleophiles and electrophile – as shown below.