Covalent Bonding

Covalent Bonding

Basic Concepts

  • Covalent bonding occurs when atoms share electrons to achieve a stable outer electron shell.
  • This type of bonding typically happens between non-metals.
  • The shared pair of electrons is also called as a bonding pair.
  • Each atom contributing one electron to the shared pair establishes the covalent bond.

Types of Covalent Bonds

  • A single covalent bond is formed when one pair of electrons is shared (e.g., in a hydrogen molecule, H2).
  • Double and triple bonds are formed when two or three pairs of electrons are shared, respectively (e.g., in oxygen, O2, and nitrogen, N2 molecules).

Properties of Covalently Bonded Substances

  • Covalent compounds generally have lower melting and boiling points than ionic compounds due to weaker intermolecular forces.
  • They are typically poor conductors of electricity because they do not contain mobile electrons or ions.
  • Substances with covalent bonds can exist in all three states of matter at room temperature: gases, liquids, or solids.

Formation of Molecules

  • Atoms bond covalently to form molecules, which are the smallest particles of a covalent compound that still retain the properties of that compound.

Examples of Covalent Bonding

  • An example of a covalent bond can be seen in a water molecule, H2O, where each hydrogen atom shares an electron with the oxygen atom.
  • This forms a covalent bond, with the oxygen atom sharing one electron with each hydrogen atom.

Stability in Covalent Bonding

  • The sharing of electrons in covalent bonding leads to a more stable electron configuration for both atoms.
  • Stable electron configurations are often achieved when an atom has a full outermost energy level, usually with eight valence electrons.
  • This stability is the driving force behind why elements form covalent bonds, contributing to the formation of covalent compounds.

Knowledge of the properties and processes involved in covalent bonding provides an essential foundation for understanding a wide range of chemical phenomena.