In this section, we will continue to look at more examples of covalent bonding between other elements.
Other elements that combine to form diatomic (two-atom) molecules, like hydrogen, are those in the halogen column. Their elements are fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine. These elements have seven valence electrons (electrons in the outermost shell). The following diagram shows the outermost shell of fluorine and chlorine.
When two atoms of the same element overlap their half-empty p orbital, they form a covalent bond because each of the atom has achieved a stable octet. For example, look at the two fluorine atoms that bond to form a single fluorine molecule.
When they bond, the half-empty 1s orbital of hydrogen shares its electron with the half-empty 3pz orbital of chlorine. Thus, they both achieve a stable octet; hydrogen achieves one of helium and chlorine that of argon. This diagram illustrates how the electron orbitals overlap.
There are three ways to represent every molecule; one is the molecular formula, another is the Lewis dot diagram, and the third is the structural formula. In the images above, there are Lewis dot diagrams for the fluorine and hydrogen chloride molecules. The different ways of representing HCl, hydrogen chloride, are listed below.
Copyright, 1998. Atomic Magic.
This page and its respective graphics, scripts, and text are the copyrighted property of Atomic Magic unless otherwise noted.
To send comments or ideas, please e-mail us.