In this section you will be introduced to the molecular orbital diagrams of several homonuclear diatomic molecules. Homonuclear diatomic molecules are molecules made of exactly two identical atoms, and they are relatively simple.
- 5.2.1: Molecular Orbitals
- There are several cases where our more elementary models of bonding (like Lewis Theory and Valence Bond Theory) fail to predict the actual molecular properties and reactivity. A classic example is the case of O₂ and its magnetic properties. At very cold temperatures, O₂ is attracted to a magnetic field, and thus it must be paramagnetic (unpaired electrons give rise to magnetism, see video). However, both its Lewis structure and Valance Bond Theory predict that O₂ is diamagnetic.
- 5.2.2: Orbital Mixing
- Orbitals of compatible symmetry can combine, or mix, even when they have different energies. When sets of orbitals mix, it has the effect of decreasing the energy of the lower-energy set and increasing the energy of the higher-energy set.