Return to Contents Chapter 1: Structure Determines Properties Ch 1 contents
Chemical Bonding

Simplistically, chemistry is about the interaction of molecules with other molecules.

For the atoms that are most important in organic chemistry (with the exception of H),  this is an octet of electrons, which is similar to the valence electron configuration of the nearest noble gas (e.g.  2s2 2p6).

There are two ways in which this octet can be achieved, either

Most bonds in organic molecules are covalent bonds but common exception are the bonds to metal atoms (where the metal atoms should be treated as ions).

You should be able to identify whether an ionic or covalent bond is present between atoms.

If you think you already can then try some questions.
If you are unsure, then you need to review the types of bonding in more detail.

It is important to note that the electron distribution within a covalent bond is not always symmetrical.
This is to be expected if the atoms are of different electronegativities.
If the electron distribution is not symmetrical, then the bond will be polar and a bond dipole exists.

If a bond is covalent you should be able to identify whether it is polar or non-polar.

Now try some questions.  If you are having difficulty then you need to review bond polarity.

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Dr. Ian Hunt, Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary