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Why SF6 is inert where as SF4 is highly reactive towards H20 ?.


The maximum coordination number of sulphur is 6. Hence S cannot accommodate more than 12 electrons around it. SF6 is covalently saturated compound. Thus six fluorine atoms around sulphur protect sulphur from attack by reagent to such an extent that even thermodynamically favorable reaction like hydrolysis (S-O bond is stronger than S-F bond) does not occur. On the other hand, in SF4, the coordination number is only four. Hence sulphur can be attacked by H2O.


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