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Covalent Bonding

A covalent bond may be defined as the bond formed between two atoms when they complete their nearest inert gas configuration by sharing at least one electron with the other atom.

The covalent bond is generally represented by placing a small line between the combining atoms.
 

Example : H   +   H ------>  H -  H

 

Single Covalent Bond
 
Hydrogen atom has one electron in its first shell which is also the outermost shell. In order to attain the configuration of helium, it shares one electron with another atom of hydrogen and forms a covalent molecule.
 

 
Double Covalent Bond
 
In some cases when two similar combining atoms are short of two electrons to their nearest noble gas configuration, they share two pairs of electrons between the same atoms and are said to possess a double covalent bond.
 

Example :  Formation of O2.

---(double covalent bond or O = O)
2,6         2,6          2,8 2,8

 

 

Oxygen atom has six electrons in its outermost shell. It needs two electrons to complete its octet and attain the configuration of neon. Hence, two oxygen atoms combine by sharing two pairs of electrons between them and form a covalent molecule.


 

 

Triple Covalent Bond

In case both the combining atoms are short of three electrons in their nearest noble gas configuration, they share three pairs of electrons and are said to possess a triple bond.
 
For example, formation of N2

Nitrogen atom has five electrons in its outermost shell. It needs three electrons to complete its octet and attain the configuration of the inert gas neon. Hence, two nitrogen atoms combine by sharing three pairs of electrons between them and form a stable covalent molecule.
 

 

 2,5     2,5      2,8 2,8





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