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Sigma bond and Pi bond,

Polar and Non-polar chemical bond

bond between two atoms: localization of electron density

In chemistry, sigma bonds ( bonds) are the strongest type of covalent

chemical bond.[1] They are formed by head-on overlapping between atomic
orbitals. Sigma bonding is most simply defined for diatomic molecules using
the language and tools of symmetry groups. In this formal approach, a -
bond is symmetrical with respect to rotation about the bond axis. By this
definition, common forms of sigma bonds are s+s, pz+pz, s+pz and dz2+dz2
(where z is defined as the axis of the bond).[2] Quantum theory also
indicates that molecular orbitals (MO) of identical symmetry actually mix or
hybridize. As a practical consequence of this mixing of diatomic molecules,
the wavefunctions s+s and pz+pz molecular orbitals become blended. The
extent of this mixing (or hybridization or blending) depends on the relative
energies of the MO's of like symmetry.

1s* antibonding molecular orbital in H2 with nodal plane

For homodiatomics, bonding orbitals have no nodal planes at which the

wavefunction is zero, either between the bonded atoms or passing through
the bonded atoms. The corresponding antibonding, or * orbital, is defined
by the presence of one nodal plane between the two bonded atoms.

Sigma bonds are the strongest type of covalent bonds due to the direct
overlap of orbitals, and the electrons in these bonds are sometimes referred
to as sigma electrons.[3]



Symmetric (ss and pp) A pi bond,

sigma bonds between atomic orbitals for comparison

shybrid sp

The symbol is the Greek letter sigma. When viewed down the bond axis, a
MO has a circular symmetry, hence resembling a similarly sounding "s"
atomic orbital.

Typically, a single bond is a sigma bond while a multiple bond is composed of

one sigma bond together with pi or other bonds. A double bond has one
sigma plus one pi bond, and a triple bond has one sigma plus two pi bonds.


1 Polyatomic molecules

2 Multiple-bonded complexes

3 Organic molecules

4 See also

5 References

6 External links
Polyatomic molecules

Sigma bonds are obtained by head-on overlapping of atomic orbitals. The

concept of sigma bonding is extended to describe bonding interactions
involving overlap of a single lobe of one orbital with a single lobe of another.
For example, propane is described as consisting of ten sigma bonds, one
each for the two CC bonds and one each for the eight CH bonds.

Multiple-bonded complexes

Transition metal complexes that feature multiple bonds, such as the

dihydrogen complex, have sigma bonds between the multiple bonded atoms.
These sigma bonds can be supplemented with other bonding interactions,
such as -back donation, as in the case of W(CO)3(PCy3)2(H2), and even -
bonds, as in the case of chromium(II) acetate.[4]

Organic molecules

Organic molecules are often cyclic compounds containing one or more rings,
such as benzene, and are often made up of many sigma bonds along with pi
bonds. According to the sigma bond rule, the number of sigma bonds in a
molecule is equivalent to the number of atoms plus the number of rings
minus one.

N = Natoms + Nrings 1

A molecule with no rings can be represented as a tree with a number of

bonds equal to the number of atoms minus one (as in dihydrogen, H2, with
only one sigma bond, or ammonia, NH3, with 3 sigma bonds). There is no
more than 1 sigma bond between any two atoms.

Molecules with rings have additional sigma bonds, such as benzene rings,
which have 6 CC sigma bonds within the ring for 6 carbon atoms. The
anthracene molecule, C14H10, has three rings so that the rule gives the
number of sigma bonds as 24 + 3 1 = 26. In this case there are 16 CC
sigma bonds and 10 CH bonds.

More information about the following

Sigma and Pi Bonds

Simply put, a sigma bond is a single covalent bond.

The electron pair is located between the two atoms involved in the bonding.
A pi bond uses the p-orbitals that are located above and below these atoms.

The overlap is a pi-bond. The image above is actually only 1 pi-bond.

A p-orbital is has a shape of a dumbbell. So there are 2 regions of


So, the grey bond is a sigma bond (a single bond), the clouds are a pi (this is
the second bond or your double bond).

So, how can we have triple bonds? Use the image below

The region of space above and below the sigma bond (single bond) are
already occupied. The p-orbitals (Pink) can wrap around to the left and right
of the sigma bond. This overlap is 90 o from the other pi-bond (blue) that is
already in place. So it is possible to have 2-pi bonds and a sigma or what we
call a triple bond.
In conclusion, a triple bond is a sigma bond located directly between the
atoms, and 2 pi bonds located above and below, and around the sides of the
2 atoms.

Every bond has a sigma. Doubles have a sigma and a pi. Triples have a
sigma and two pi bonds.

Major Differences

Difference between sigma and pi bond

The process of mixing of atomic orbitals of nearly same energy to produce a set of
entirely new orbitals of equivalent energy (hybrid orbitals) is known as
hybridization. Atomic orbitals of almost the same energy belonging to the same
atom or ion can take part in hybridization.. The number of hybrid orbitals formed is
always equal to the number of atomic orbitals taking part in hybridization. The
hybrid orbitals repel each other and tend to be farthest apart. Hybrid orbitals forms
only sigma( bonds) and pi bonds( bonds )are formed by unhybridised
Sigma bond: This type of covalent bond is formed by the axial or end to end
overlapping of half filled atomic orbitals of the atoms participating in bonding. The
electron cloud formed as a result of axial overlap is cylindrically symmetrical about
inter nuclear axis.

Pi bond: This type of bond is formed by lateral or side wise overlap of the half filled
atomic orbitals of the atoms participating in bonding. The pi bond consists of two
charged clods above and below the plane of the atoms involved in bond formation.
Sigma bond vs Pi bond

Sigma bond ( bonds)

1. The covalent bond formed by the overlap of atomic orbitals along the
internuclear axis is called sigma bond.

2. The overlapping orbitals are oriented along the internuclear axis.

3. The bond is rotationally symmetrical around the internuclear axis

4. A as well as p orbitals can form this type of bonds.

5. It is stronger than a pi bond

Pi bond ( bonds)

1. The covalent bond formed by the lateral overlap of two p orbitals which are
mutually parallel but oriented perpendicular to the internuclear axis is called a pi

2. The overlapping orbitals are oriented perpendicular to the inter nuclear axis.
3. The bond is not rotationally symmetrical around the internuclear axis.

4. Only p orbitals can form this bond.

5. It is weaker than a sigma bond.

Nonpolar Covalent Bonds

In a nonpolar covalent bond, the atoms share electrons

equally with one another.

Have you ever watched toddlers playing together with a toy? Sometimes they equally
share toys, and other times, one child takes the other child's toy away. Some types of
chemical bonding are very similar to the way that children play with toys. Nonpolar
covalent bonds are a type of bond that occurs when two atoms share a pair of electrons
with each other. These shared electrons glue two or more atoms together to form a
molecule. Like children who share toys, atoms involved in a nonpolar covalent bond
equally share electrons. An example of a nonpolar covalent bond is the bond between
two hydrogen atoms because they equally share the electrons. Another example of a
nonpolar covalent bond is the bond between two chlorine atoms because they also
equally share the electrons. Nonpolar covalent bonds are very strong bonds requiring a
large amount of energy to break the bond.

Nonpolar covalent bonds are extremely important in biology. They form the oxygen we
breathe and help make up our living cells. One kind of nonpolar covalent bond that is
very important in biology is called a peptide bond. A peptide bond joins together chains
of amino acids, which are involved in the construction of our DNA. Amino acids are
comprised of several atoms like carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen.

Polar Covalent Bonds

Have you ever seen two children play and one child acts like a bully toward the other
child? The bully child seems to spend more time playing with the toy than the other
child. They are not equally sharing the toys.

This unequal sharing also happens with a type of bond called polar covalent
bonding. Polar covalent bondings a type of chemical bond where a pair of electrons is
unequally shared between two atoms. In a polar covalent bond, the electrons are not
equally shared because one atom spends more time with the electrons than the other
atom. In polar covalent bonds, one atom has a stronger pull than the other atom and
attracts electrons. Remember how electrons carry a negative charge? Well, when
electrons spend more time with one atom, it causes that atom to carry a partial
negative charge. The atom that does not spend as much time with the electrons carries
a partial positive charge. To remember a polar covalent bond, instead say 'puller
covalent,' and remember one atom has more 'pull' on electrons than the other atom.

In a polar covalent bond, one atom spends more time

with the electrons than the other.

Your life actually depends on polar covalent bonding. You drink water, right? A water
molecule, abbreviated as H2O, is an example of a polar covalent bond. The electrons
are unequally shared, with the oxygen atom spending more time with electrons than the
hydrogen atoms. Since electrons spend more time with the oxygen atom, it carries a
partial negative charge.

Another example of a polar covalent bond is between a hydrogen and a chlorine atom.
In this bond, the chlorine atom spends more time with the electrons than the hydrogen
atom. Because of this unequal sharing of electrons, the chlorine atom carries a partial
negative charge, and the hydrogen atom carries a partial positive charge.

How to Predict Bonding Type Using

You may be wondering: How do you know what type of bond will occur between atoms?
You can predict which type of bond will form by looking at the electronegativity of each
atom involved in the bond. Electronegativitys how strongly an atom will attract
electrons from another atom in a chemical bond. Some atoms have a higher
electronegativity, while others have a lower electronegativity. Electronegativity is like a
tug of war game between two atoms. If you have one person on the side of the rope
that is stronger than the other person, then that stronger person will tug harder, pulling
the other person in their direction. On the other hand, if you had two people of equal
strength, then the rope would not shift in any one direction and would stay in the same

When two atoms have unequal levels of electronegativity,

one atom will tug electrons from the other.

Like tug of war, if you have a stronger atom with a higher electronegativity, then it will
be able to tug electrons in its direction. Since the atoms have a different
electronegativity, the electrons are unequally shared. On the other hand, if you have
two atoms with the same strength, or the same electronegativity, then the electrons will
not be tugged in any one direction and will stay in the middle of the two atoms. Since
there is no tugging, electrons are equally shared between the two atoms.

Remember how the periodic table is a like a roadmap that can tell you the properties of
each element? An additional trend the periodic table can tell you is the electronegativity
of an element. Before I describe the trend, first remember that hydrogen is considered a
nonmetal and is moved to the far right with the other non-metals. The electronegativity
trend I am about to describe excludes the noble gases and most transition metals.
Remember, noble gases are located in the last column of the periodic table, and the
transition metals are located in groups 3 through 12 on the periodic table. Now that you
know the exclusions, the main trend is as you move from left to right, the
electronegativity increases, and as you move from bottom to top, the electronegativity