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Chemistry LibreTexts

9: Chemical Bonds

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  • How do atoms make compounds? Typically they join together in such a way that they lose their identities as elements and adopt a new identity as a compound. These joins are called chemical bonds. But how do atoms join together? Ultimately, it all comes down to electrons. Before we discuss how electrons interact, we need to introduce a tool to simply illustrate electrons in an atom.

    • 9.1: Prelude to Chemical Bonds
      Diamond is the hardest natural material known on Earth. Yet diamond is just pure carbon. What is special about this element that makes diamond so hard? Bonds. Chemical bonds.
    • 9.2: Lewis Electron Dot Diagrams
      Lewis electron dot diagrams use dots to represent valence electrons around an atomic symbol. Lewis electron dot diagrams for ions have less (for cations) or more (for anions) dots than the corresponding atom.
    • 9.3: Electron Transfer - Ionic Bonds
      The tendency to form species that have eight electrons in the valence shell is called the octet rule. The attraction of oppositely charged ions caused by electron transfer is called an ionic bond. The strength of ionic bonding depends on the magnitude of the charges and the sizes of the ions.
    • 9.4: Covalent Bonds
      Covalent bonds are formed when atoms share electrons. Lewis electron dot diagrams can be drawn to illustrate covalent bond formation. Double bonds or triple bonds between atoms may be necessary to properly illustrate the bonding in some molecules.
    • 9.5: Other Aspects of Covalent Bonds
      Covalent bonds can be nonpolar or polar, depending on the electronegativities of the atoms involved. Covalent bonds can be broken if energy is added to a molecule. The formation of covalent bonds is accompanied by energy given off. Covalent bond energies can be used to estimate the enthalpy changes of chemical reactions.
    • 9.6: Violations of the Octet Rule
      There are three violations to the octet rule: odd-electron molecules, electron-deficient molecules, and expanded valence shell molecules.
    • 9.7: Molecular Shapes
      The approximate shape of a molecule can be predicted from the number of electron groups and the number of surrounding atoms.
    • 9.E: Chemical Bonds (Exercises)