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A development of the quantum mechanical concepts of bonding using valence bond and molecular orbital descriptions to account of bond strength and molecular ionization energies.


Our basis for understanding chemical bonding and the structures of molecules is the electron orbital description of the structure and valence of atoms, as provided by quantum mechanics. We assume an understanding of the periodicity of the elements based on the nuclear structure of the atom and our deductions concerning valence based on electron orbitals.


Our model of valence describes a chemical bond as resulting from the sharing of a pair of electrons in the valence shell of the bonded atoms. This sharing allows each atom to complete an octet of electrons in its valence shell, at least in the sense that we count the shared electrons as belonging to both atoms. However, it is not clear that this electron counting picture has any basis in physical reality. What is meant, more precisely, by the sharing of the electron pair in a bond, and why does this result in the bonding of two atoms together? Indeed, what does it mean to say that two atoms are bound together? Furthermore, what is the significance of sharing a pair of electrons? Why aren’t chemical bonds formed by sharing one or three electrons, for example?

We seek to understand how the details of chemical bonding are related to the properties of the molecules formed, particularly in terms of the strengths of the bonds formed.

Observation 1: bonding with a single electron

We began our analysis of the energies and motions of the electrons in atoms by observing the properties of the simplest atom, hydrogen, with a single electron. Similarly, to understand the energies and motions of electrons which lead to chemical bonding, we begin our observations with the simplest particle with a chemical bond, which is the H 2 + size 12{H rSub { size 8{2} } rSup { size 8{+{}} } } {} molecular ion. Each hydrogen nucleus has a charge of +1. An H 2 + size 12{H rSub { size 8{2} } rSup { size 8{+{}} } } {} molecular ion therefore has a single electron. It seems inconsistent with our notions of valence that a single electron, rather than an electron pair, can generate a chemical bond. However, these concepts have been based on observations on molecules, not molecular ions like H 2 + size 12{H rSub { size 8{2} } rSup { size 8{+{}} } } {} . And it is indeed found that H 2 + size 12{H rSub { size 8{2} } rSup { size 8{+{}} } } {} is a stable bound molecular ion.

What forces and motions hold the two hydrogen nuclei close together in the H 2 + size 12{H rSub { size 8{2} } rSup { size 8{+{}} } } {} ion? It is worth keeping in mind that the two nuclei must repel one another, since they are both positively charged. In the absence of the electron, the two nuclei would accelerate away from one another, rather than remaining in close proximity. What is the role of the electron? Clearly, the electron is attracted to both nuclei at the same time, and, in turn, each nucleus is attracted to the electron. The effect of this is illustrated in Fig. 1. In Fig. 1a, the electron is “outside” of the two nuclei. In this position, the electron is primarily attracted to the nucleus on the left, to which it is closer. More importantly, the nucleus on the right feels a greater repulsion from the other nucleus than attraction to the electron, which is farther away. As a result, the nucleus on the right experiences a strong force driving it away from the hydrogen atom on the left. This arrangement does not generate chemical bonding, therefore. By contrast, in Fig. 1b, the electron is between the two nuclei. In this position, the electron is roughly equally attracted to the two nuclei, and very importantly, each nucleus feels an attractive force to the electron which is greater than the repulsive force generated by the other nucleus. Focusing on the electron’s energy, the proximity of the two nuclei provides it a doubly attractive environment with a very low potential energy. If we tried to pull one of the nuclei away, this would raise the potential energy of the electron, since it would lose attraction to that nucleus. Hence, to pull one nucleus away requires us to add energy to the molecular ion. This is what is meant by a chemical bond: the energy of the electrons is lower when the atoms are in close proximity than when the atoms are far part. This “holds” the nuclei close together, since we must do work (add energy) to take the nuclei apart.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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
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Source:  OpenStax, General chemistry i. OpenStax CNX. Jul 18, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10263/1.3
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