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Overview Of Chemical Bonding

Chemical Bonding Assignment / Homework Help
Atoms exist together as molecules and different molecules exist together as compounds. How are they held together? The concept of chemical bonding provides information on how atoms and molecules exist together.

Definition of chemical bonding:

Chemical bonding refers to the force that holds the chemical molecules or atoms together. Strength of the bond depends on the molecules or atoms involved in the process of bond formation.

Before knowing further about chemical bonding let us review an important concept termed as octet rule that is essential for good understanding of chemical bonding.

Octet rule: this rule states that atoms should have either eight or multiple of eight electrons in the outermost shell or the highest energy shell. For example noble gases neon contains eight electrons in its outermost shell and is hence, very stable. In case of fluorine which is not stable contains only seven electrons in the outermost shell and is said to be less stable than those with octet configuration.

Reasons for chemical bond formation

As given above, atoms with octet configuration in the valence shells remain stable. Atoms that lack the octet configuration are highly instable and try to attain the required stable configuration by combining with other atoms i.e. by bonding with other atoms. In the process of attaining the stable configuration, atoms may lose, gain or share the electrons.

Types of chemical bonds:

Basing on the way the atoms choose to attain the octet configuration we have, four different types of chemical bonds. They include
  • Ionic bond: this type of bond is formed between atoms with high electron affinity and low electron affinity. As the atoms with high electron affinity attract the low electron affinity atoms with strong force, this type of bond is strong. As the octet configuration of both the atoms is satisfied the whole system remains thermally stable.
  • Covalent bond: unlike the ionic bond, this is formed between electronegative elements. In this type of bond, electrons are shared between the elements involved in the bond formation.
  • Metallic bond: This type of bond is formed between electro positive ions. The positively charged ions are held together by negatively charged electrons.
  • Co-ordinate bond: this bond can be treated as bond with properties that lie between the properties of ionic bond and covalent bond. Co-ordinate bond is formed between an atom with lone pair of electrons and the atom trying to attain the octet configuration.
Apart from these types of bonds, there are other types of bonds such as hydrogen bonding, ion-dipole interactions and dipole-dipole interactions.

Many theories have been put forth to explain the concept of chemical bonding. These theories aim at explaining the strength of bond, directionality and the polarity of the bonds. Some of the most popular theories include the octet rule, VSEPR (Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion) theory and the valence bond theory. Of all the three, valence bond theory is the most sophisticated.

Importance of chemical bonds:

The type of the bond and the strength of the bond determine the shape, solubility, stability, melting point and boiling point of the molecules. These properties are essential to carry out the chemical reactions and in determining the properties of newly identified compounds.

Solved problems
  • Chemical bonding determines which of the following:
    • Shape of the molecule
    • Solubility
    • Stability
    • All
    Answer: d
  • Which rule explains the stability of atoms?
    • Octet rule
    • VSPER
    • Valence bond theory
    • All
    Answer: a
  • Why do atoms combine?
    • To attain stability
    • To attain octet configuration
    • Both a and b
    • To form new molecules
    Answer: c

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