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Covalent Bonds - Concept
M.Ed., Columbia Teachers College
Kendal founded an academic coaching company in Washington D.C. and teaches in local area schools. In her spare time she loves to explore new places.
Molecules are bound by covalent bonds in which two atoms with unfilled valence shells share electrons so that they each have a full octet. If one atom is more electronegative than the other, it holds onto the shared electrons more tightly, pulling the negatively charged electron cloud towards itself and resulting in an imbalance of charges called polarity. If a single covalent bond isn t enough for two atoms to fill their octets, they may share two or more pairs of electrons.
Alright so we're going to talk about covalent compounds another word for covalent compound is molecule, when you hear that word they're talking or referring to covalent compounds. So anytime two or more non-metals come together there're going to share their valence electrons and those are what creates covalent compounds. Notice covalent sharing their valence electrons with each other. And that's only occurs in non-metals okay so two non-metals. Okay so different types of bonds that can occur within a covalent compound they can have a single bond which is a sharing of two valence electrons for example fluorine, notice fluorine sharing the 2 valence electrons in there making both have 8 electrons around their outer shell which is what they want.
Double bond share 4 valence electrons within each other. Oxygen is a good example of a double bond and when oxygen bonds with itself it shares 4 electrons within itself creating a double bond here. And then there's lastly a triple bond we can't go higher than a triple bond there's no such thing as a quadruple bond. So a triple is the most they can share, they share 6 valence electrons and nitrogens is an excellent example of that sharing 6 valence electrons of each other making them both have 8 total which is what they were looking for.
Okay so great so let's talk about the characteristics of these covalent bonds and how they work together. Alright so, the strength of them how strong they are within each other depends on the distance between the 2 nuclei. The further they are, the further nuclei are from each other, the easier they are to break. Okay and so the closer they are the stronger that bond is. However I want you to know that they're not as strong as ionic bonds, ionic bonds have a very strong bonding connection to each other. So those are the strongest type of bond you can have. Covalent bonds are not as strong as these guys, the bond length depends on the number of bonds that hold between them. So if we have a triple bond versus the double bond versus the single bond these two carbon atoms are very close to each other versus these two carbon ions which are further apart its single bond connected which also means that the strength between these, with this triple bond is much greater than the strength between these carbons and this single bond. So it goes in order of strongest and shortest to longest and weakest.
Also when they create these bonds it can be called exothermic process meaning it releases energy they're like thank you so much for bonding wit me. So they release that energy so it's very low in energy they like being bonded together so all these things encompass covalent bonds or if you like covalent compounds.
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