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Bonding forces & Energies

Why study bonding?

• Because the properties of materials (strength, hardness,

conductivity, etc..) are determined by the manner in which atoms
are connected.
• Also by how the atoms are arranged in space -Crystal Structure

What determines the nature of the chemical bond

between atoms?

•Electronic structure (distribution of electrons in atomic orbitals)

• Number of electrons and electronegativity (tendency for an
atom to attract an electron)
Atomic Bonding
Cation Anion

FR r
 As two ions approach each other, each atom exerts
forces on the other.
 Magnitude of Forces is a function of interatomic distance
Interatomic Forces
- Attractive Force, FA
- Repulsive Force, FR
Bonding forces

• This is typical potential well for two interacting atoms.

• The repulsion between atoms, when they are brought close to each other, is
related to the Pauli principle:
• when the electronic clouds surrounding the atoms starts to overlap, the energy

of the system increases suddenly.

• The origin of the attractive part, dominating at large distances, depends on the

particular type of bonding.

•Principles of atomic bonding are best illustrated by considering the interaction
between two isolated atoms as they are brought into close proximity from an
infinite separation.

•At large distances, the interactions are negligible, but as the atoms approach,
each exerts forces on the other.

•These forces are of two types, attractive FA and repulsive FR

•The net force FN between the two atoms,


When FA and FR balance, or become equal, there is no net force; that is,

FA+FR= 0

Then a state of equilibrium exists. The centers of the two atoms will remain
separated by the equilibrium spacing r0,
The bonding energy for these two atoms, E0, corresponds to
the energy at this minimum point , it represents the energy
that would be required to separate these two atoms to an
infinite separation.
Types of Bonding
Primary bonding
Ionic: Strong Coulomb interaction among negative atoms (have an extra electron
each) and positive atoms (lost an electron). Example - Na+Cl-

Covalent: electrons are shared between the molecules, to saturate the valency
Example - H2

Metallic: the atoms are ionized, loosing some electrons from the valence band. Those
electrons form a electron sea, which binds the charged nuclei in place

Secondary Bonding
van der Waals

Fluctuating Induced Dipole (inert gases, H2, Cl2…)

Permanent dipole bonds (polar molecules - H2O, HCl...)
Polar molecule-induced dipole bonds (a polar molecule
like induce a dipole in a nearby nonpolar atom/molecule
Ionic Bonding
Bonding with induced dipoles