Strength of Alkane Bonds: Radicals3-1
Breaking a bond requires heat. This energy is called thebond-dissociation energy, DH
, orbond strength.H-H
= 104 kcal mol
Radicals are formed by homolytic cleavage.
When a bond breaks leaving the bonding electrons equally dividedbetween the atoms, the process is calledhomolytic cleavageorhomolysis:Species containing more than one atom and an unpaired electron
are called radicals.
Free atoms and radicals exist as intermediates in smallconcentrations during the course of many reactions but cannotusually be isolated.