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Properties of Covalent Bonds POGIL Answers – FREE Q&A
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About Properties of Covalent Bonds
A covalent bond is a chemical bond between two atoms involving the sharing of electron pairs between the atoms. The stable balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms, when they share electrons in this way, is known as covalent bonding. This stability makes it possible for molecules to form that contain long chains or even rings of nuclei carrying an identical electronic charge.
Covalent bonds are the basic molecular building blocks of organic chemistry, which uses covalent bonding between carbon atoms to build up complex molecules containing chains and rings of nuclei carrying an identical electronic charge.
For example, in methane (CH), each carbon atom contributes one electron toward the formation of the covalent bond. These electron pairs very rarely lie along the same line, and in fact, they are almost always found to lie on a plane projecting outwards from the covalent bond itself (known as the molecular orbital).
In other cases, such as carbon dioxide (CO), two atoms of oxygen may be linked by covalent bonds. In this case, however, one of the two electrons participating in the bond is acquired from each atom; hence the final state of the molecule is not symmetric and must be represented as a covalent double bond.
A double covalent bond can also occur between two different atoms, for example, between two different carbon atoms, as in carbon dioxide (CO) or hexafluoroethane (CFC).
In the case of a covalent bond between two atoms, one is usually more electronegative than the other. The result is that they hold the electrons forming the covalent bond closer to themselves than perhaps they would otherwise do if the bond were purely ionic.
This relative difference in electronegativity between two bonded atoms can be assessed using the concept of a dipole – the more electronegative atom (or ions) will usually hold the shared electrons closer to itself, creating a partial negative charge on that end and partial positive charges on the other end.
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