Chemical bond

lasting attraction between atoms that enables the formation of chemical compounds

A chemical bond is an attraction between atoms that allows the formation of chemical substances that contain two or more atoms.


  • How does electron sharing lead to bonding between atoms? Two models have been developed to describe covalent bonding: valence bond theory and molecular orbital theory. Each model has its strengths and weaknesses, and chemists tend to use them interchangeably depending on the circumstances. Valence bond theory is the more easily visualized of the two, so most of the descriptions we’ll use in this book derive from that approach.
    • John McMurry, Organic Chemistry 8th ed. (2012), Ch. 1 : Structure and Bonding
  • Atoms tend to form molecules in such a way as to reach an octet in the outer electron shell and attain a noble-gas configuration. … we describe two extreme ways in which this goal may be accomplished: by the formation of pure ionic or pure covalent bonds. … There are two extreme types of bonding, ionic and covalent. Both derive favorable energetics from Coulomb forces and the attainment of noble-gas electronic structures. Most bonds are better described as something between the two types: the polar covalent (or covalent ionic) bonds. … We thought of bonds in terms of Coulomb forces, then in terms of covalency and shared electron pairs, and now we have a quantum mechanical picture. Bonds are a result of the overlap of atomic orbitals. The two bonding electrons are placed in the bonding molecular orbital. Because it is stabilized relative to the two initial atomic orbitals, energy is given off during bond formation. This decrease in energy represents the bond strength.
    • K. Peter C. Vollhardt, Neil E. Schore (2011) Organic chemistry : structure and function 6th ed. Chapter 1. Structure and Bonding in Organic Molecules

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