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We further assume the structure of the atom as a massive, positively charged nucleus, whose size is much smaller than that of the atom as a whole, surrounded by a vast open space in which negatively charged electrons move. These electrons can be effectively partitioned into a core and a valence shell, and it is only the electrons in the valence shell which are significant to the chemical properties of the atom. The number of valence electrons in each atom is equal to the group number of that element in the Periodic Table.

We will base much of our work on understanding the Periodic Law, which states that the chemical and physical properties of the elements are periodic functions of the atomic number. Finally, we will assume an understanding of Coulomb’s Law, which describes the attractions and repulsions amongst charged particles.

Observation 1: valence and the octet rule

To begin to understand chemical bonding, we will examine the valence of an atom, which is defined as the atom’s most common tendency to form bonds to other atoms. We can figure these out by looking at some common molecular formulae for molecules formed by each atom. We’ll start with the easiest case, the atoms of the noble gases. Since these atoms do not tend to combine with any other atoms, we will assign their valence as 0, meaning that these atoms tend to form 0 bonds. This doesn’t really get us very far.

To find the valence of an atom which does form bonds, let’s pick molecules which contain only a single atom of the type we’re interested in and see how many other atoms it can combine with. Oxygen is a good place to start. For example, a single O atom will combine with two H atoms to form the most common molecule H 2 O. Only under rare circumstances would we find any other combination of H and O in a neutral molecule. As such, it appears that the valence of an O atom is 2. Next we consider hydrogen, which combines with virtually any other element except the noble gases. Compounds containing hydrogen can contain a huge variety of the number of H atoms. However, molecules with a single H atom most typically contain only a single other atom, for example HF. A single C atom can combine with four H atoms, but a single H atom typically does not combine with more than one other atom. We do not typically see molecules like C 4 H. A conspicuous feature of molecules containing hydrogen is that there are typically many more hydrogen atoms than other atoms. For example, hydrogen in combination with carbon alone can form CH 4 , C 2 H 6 , C 8 H 18 , and many others. These observations lead us to conclude that an H atom has a valence of 1, meaning that a single H atom will typically only form 1 bond to another atom. This seems reasonable, since each H atom contains only a single proton and a single electron. This conclusion also is consistent with our conclusion that O atoms have a valence of 2, since the most common hydrogen-oxygen molecule is H 2 O.

We can use hydrogen’s valence of 1 to find the valence of other atoms. For example, the valence of C must be 4, since one C atom can combine with 4 H atoms, but not 5, and typically not 3. Nitrogen atoms have a valence of 3, to form NH 3 . Fluorine atoms have a valence of 1, to form HF molecules.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Concept development studies in chemistry 2013. OpenStax CNX. Oct 07, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11579/1.1
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