6.3 Covalent bonding (ESABT)

The nature the the covalent bond (ESABU)

Covalent bonding occurs in between the atoms of non-metals. The outermost orbitals that the atoms overlap so that unpaired electrons in every of the bonding atoms have the right to be shared. Through overlapping orbitals, the outer power shells of all the bonding atoms are filled. The common electrons move in the orbitals around both atoms. As they move, over there is an attraction between these negatively fee electrons and also the positively fee nuclei. This attractive force holds the atoms together in a covalent bond.

You are watching: What happens to the electrons in a covalent bond

Covalent shortcut

Covalent bonding is a form of chemistry bonding where pairs that electrons are shared in between atoms.

You will have actually noticed in Table 6.1 that the variety of electrons the are associated in bonding varies in between atoms.

There is a relationship between the valency of an element and its place on the periodic table. For the facets in groups 1 and also 2, the valency is the group number. Because that the elements in teams 13–18, the valency is the group number minus 10. For the change metals, the valency have the right to vary. In these cases we suggest the valency by a roman numeral after the facet name, e.g. Stole (III) chloride.

We deserve to say the following:

A single covalent link is developed when two electrons space shared between the very same two atoms, one electron from each atom.

A double covalent bond is developed when 4 electrons are shared between the very same two atoms, 2 electrons from every atom.

A triple covalent link is formed when 6 electrons space shared in between the same two atoms, three electrons from every atom.

You should likewise have noticed that compounds have the right to have a mixture that single, double and triple bonds and also that one atom have the right to have numerous bonds. In various other words, one atom go not have to share all its valence electrons through one other atom, but can re-superstructure its valence electrons with several various atoms.

We say the the valency that the atoms is different.


The number of electrons in the outer shell of an atom which room able come be provided to form bonds with other atoms.

temp text

Below are a couple of examples. Remember the it is just the valence electrons the are involved in bonding and so when diagrams are drawn to show what is happening during bonding, that is just these electron that room shown.

Worked example 1: Covalent bonding

How execute hydrogen and also chlorine atom bond covalently in a molecule that hydrogen chloride?

Determine the electron configuration of every of the bonding atoms

A chlorine atom has 17 electrons and an electron configuration of \(<\textNe>3\texts^23\textp^5\). A hydrogen atom has only one electron and also an electron construction of \(1\texts^1\).

Determine how countless of the electrons room paired or unpaired

Chlorine has seven valence electrons. Among these electron is unpaired. Hydrogen has actually one valence electron and also it is unpaired.

Work out just how the electrons room shared

The hydrogen atom needs one an ext electron to finish its outermost energy level. The chlorine atom also needs one more electron to finish its outermost energy level. Therefore one pair the electrons must be shared between the two atoms. A single covalent bond will be formed.


Worked example 2: Covalent bonding involving multiple bonds

How do nitrogen and hydrogen atoms bond to type a molecule that ammonia \((\textNH_3)\)?

Give the electron configuration

A nitrogen atom has actually seven electrons, and an electron construction of \(<\textHe>2\texts^22\textp^3\). A hydrogen atom has only one electron, and an electron configuration of \(1\texts^1\).

Give the number of valence electrons

Nitrogen has five valence electrons. Three of this electrons room unpaired. Hydrogen has one valence electron and it is unpaired.

Work out how the electrons space shared

Each hydrogen atom requirements one much more electron to complete its valence energy shell. The nitrogen atom demands three much more electrons to finish its valence power shell. Therefore three bag of electrons should be shared in between the four atoms involved. Three solitary covalent bonds will certainly be formed.


Worked instance 3: Covalent bonding including a double bond

How carry out oxygen atoms bond covalently to form an oxygen molecule?

Determine the electron construction of the bonding atoms.

Each oxygen atom has actually eight electrons, and their electron construction is \(<\textHe>2\texts^22\textp^4\).

Determine the variety of valence electrons for each atom and also how numerous of this electrons are paired and also unpaired.

Each oxygen atom has six valence electrons. Each atom has two unpaired electrons.

Work out just how the electrons are shared

Each oxygen atom needs two much more electrons to finish its valence power shell. Because of this two bag of electrons must be shared between the two oxygen atom so the both outermost power levels space full. A dual bond is formed.


Properties of covalent compounds (ESABV)

Covalent compounds have actually several properties that identify them indigenous ionic compounds and metals. This properties are:

The melting and boiling points of covalent compound are generally lower 보다 those of ionic compounds.

Covalent compounds room generally an ext flexible than ionic compounds. The molecule in covalent compounds space able come move approximately to part extent and also can periodically slide over each other (as is the situation with graphite, i beg your pardon is why the lead in your pencil feels slightly slippery). In ionic compounds, all the ions room tightly hosted in place.

Covalent compounds generally are not an extremely soluble in water, for instance plastics are covalent compounds and also many plastics space water resistant.

Covalent compounds generally do no conduct power when dissolved in water, for example iodine liquified in pure water does no conduct electricity.

See more: What Does The Name Carla Mean ? What Is The Meaning Of The Name Carla

Covalent bonding

Textbook practice 6.2

Explain the difference in between the valence electrons and also the valency of one element.