Chemical Bond

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A chemical bond is an attraction between atoms that allows the formation of chemical substances that contain two or more atoms. The bond is caused by the electromagnetic force attraction between opposite charges, either between electrons and nuclei, or as the result of a dipole attraction. The strength of chemical bonds varies considerably; there are "strong bonds" such as covalent or ionic bonds and "weak bonds" such as dipole-dipole interactions, the London dispersion force and hydrogen bonding. Since opposite charges attract via a simple electromagnetic force, the negatively charged electrons orbiting the nucleus and the positively charged protons in the nucleus attract each other. Also, an electron positioned between two nuclei will be attracted to both of them. Thus, the most stable configuration of nuclei and electrons is one in which the electrons spend more time between nuclei, than anywhere else in space. These electrons cause the nuclei to be attracted to each other, and this attraction results in the bond. However, this assembly cannot collapse to a size dictated by the volumes of these individual particles. Due to the matter wave nature of electrons and their smaller mass, they occupy a much larger amount of volume compared with the nuclei, and this volume occupied by the electrons keeps the atomic nuclei relatively far apart, as compared with the size of the nuclei themselves. In general, strong chemical bonding is associated with the sharing or transfer of electrons between the participating atoms. The atoms in molecules, crystals, metals and diatomic gases— indeed most of the physical environment around us— are held together by chemical bonds, which dictate the structure of matter.

Examples of Lewis dot-style chemical bonds between carbon C, hydrogen H, and oxygen O. Lewis dot depictures represent an early attempt to describe chemical bonding and are still widely used today. Contents * 1 Overview of main types of chemical bonds * 2 History * 3 Valence bond theory * 4 Comparison of valence bond and molecular orbital theory * 5 Bonds in chemical formulas * 6 Strong chemical bonds * 6.1 Covalent bond * 6.2 Ionic bond * 6.3 One- and three-electron bonds * 6.4 Bent bonds * 6.5 3c-2e and 3c-4e bonds * 6.6 Aromatic bond * 6.7 Metallic bond * 7 Intermolecular bonding * 8 Summary: electrons in chemical bonds * 9 References * 10 External links| Overview of main types of chemical bonds

In the simplest view of a so-called 'covalent' bond, one or more electrons (often a pair of electrons) are drawn into the space between the two atomic nuclei. Here the negatively charged electrons are attracted to the positive charges of both nuclei, instead of just their own. This overcomes the repulsion between the two positively charged nuclei of the two atoms, and so this overwhelming attraction holds the two nuclei in a fixed configuration of equilibrium, even though they will still vibrate at equilibrium position. In summary, covalent bonding involves sharing of electrons in which the positively charged nuclei of two or more atoms simultaneously attract the negatively charged electrons that are being shared. In a polar covalent bond, one or more electrons are unequally shared between two nuclei. In a simplified view of an ionic bond, the bonding electron is not shared at all, but transferred. In this type of bond, the outer atomic orbital of one atom has a vacancy which allows addition of one or more electrons. These newly added electrons potentially occupy a lower energy-state (effectively closer to more nuclear charge) than they experience in a different atom. Thus, one nucleus offers a more tightly bound position to an electron than does another nucleus, with the result that one atom may transfer an electron to the other. This transfer causes one atom to assume a net positive charge, and the other to assume a net negative charge. The bond then results from...
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