Why Do Atoms Share Electrons In Covalent Bonds? Curious Chemistry Factsatoms bo | Kidadl


Why Do Atoms Share Electrons In Covalent Bonds? Curious Chemistry Factsatoms bo

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A single covalent bond is a bond wherein only one pair of electrons are shared, which means one electron from one atom.

Covalent bonds (or molecular bonds) are a chemical bond in which atoms share electron pairs between them. So, why do atoms share electrons in covalent bonds, is it in order to gain stability?

You may have previously come across topics such as chemical bonds between atoms and molecules during your chemistry classes. So, if we were to ask you about covalent bonds, what non-polar covalent bonds are and how a chemical bond is formed, would you be able to answer? If not, learn with us all about covalent bonds and atoms.

There are different types of chemical bonds, as you will come to find out a little later. All bonds are formed between atoms for a reason, and are shared by atoms in order to complete their outermost electron shells, valence electrons or valence shells. By sharing their outermost valence electrons, atoms can fill up their outer electron shell and gain stability. Covalent bonding occurs when pairs of electrons are shared by atoms.

After you have read about covalent bonding, you may also want to read where does sugar come from and where does metal come from?

What are atoms and why do they form bonds?

Atoms are made up of electrons, protons, and a nucleus. Atoms cannot be divided.

Atoms are the building blocks of matter and define the structure of elements. The term 'atom' is derived from the Greek word for individual, because atoms were considered to be the smallest particle in the universe. However, it was later discovered that atoms are made up of three particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons.

In order to make the outer electron shell more stable, atoms form chemical bonds. A non-polar covalent bond is a covalent bond in which the bonding electrons are shared equally between two atoms. Since electrons are equally shared, it makes it unique.

The stability of the atoms depends on the type of chemical bond with other atoms form. An ionic bond is formed when one atom donates an electron to another atom. One atom gains stability by losing its outer electrons and the other atom gains stability by filling up its outer shell by gaining electrons. A covalent bond is formed when this sharing of electrons between atoms provides them the highest stability.

By now, you might be starting to work out the answer to our question: why do atoms share electrons in covalent bonds? Atoms were created 13.7 billion years ago after the Big Bang. The hot, compressed, and closely packed conditions were suitable for quarks and electrons to form. Protons and neutrons were formed when quarks came together, and protons and neutrons combined together to form nuclei.

The universe took around 380,000 years to cool down to an extent where electrons could be captured by nuclei to form the first atoms. Initially, atoms were hydrogen and helium, which are still present in abundance in the universe and could cause clouds of gas to coalesce and form stars. Heavier atoms are created within stars and distributed throughout the universe when a star explodes, which is known as a supernova.

What are the different types of bonds that atoms can form?

Atoms always try to arrange themselves in such a way so that they can find the most stable pattern. This means that electron atoms can fill their outermost electron orbits.

Each atom works with another atom in order to gain the most stable patterns. The forces that drive atoms together into groups are called molecules and are referred to as chemical bonds. There is a single bond, double bond, and triple bond. There are mainly two types of chemical bonds and some secondary chemical bonds:

Ionic bonds take place with the transfer of electrons, so one atom gains an electron and the other atom loses an electron. As a result, one ion carries a negative charge called anion, and the other ion carries a positive charge called a cation. Due to the attractive and repulsive forces, oppositely charged ions attract each other, and atoms bond together to form a molecule.

A covalent bond is a common bond in organic molecules, where the sharing of electrons takes place between two atoms. Covalent bonding occurs when there are a shared pair of electrons. The shared pair of electrons then form a new orbit that spreads around the nuclei of both the atoms, building a molecule. There are two types of covalent bonds: polar covalent bonds and hydrogen bonds.

A polar covalent bond is a type of chemical bond where one pair of electrons is shared unevenly between two atoms. Polar covalent bonds are an intermediate situation between ionic bonding and covalent bonding, where one side of the molecule gets negatively charged and the other side of the molecule gets positively charged.

On example of polar molecules is water. The hydrogen end remains slightly positive whereas the oxygen atom end remains slightly negative. Here, polarity explains why some substances easily dissolve in water whereas others do not. In non-polar covalent bonds, electrons are equally shared among the two atoms.

A hydrogen bond can be found in water (H2O), which has two adjacent molecules. The hydrogen atoms and oxygen molecule form together to make a hydrogen bond, where the hydrogen atom of one H2O molecule gets electrostatically attracted to the electronegative oxygen atom.

This forms a hydrogen-bonded lattice. A hydrogen bond receives only 1/20 of the strength of a covalent bond, but a hydrogen bond is still sufficient to affect the structure of water. Hydrogen bonds produce properties like high surface tension, specific heat, and vaporization heat. Hydrogen bonds replicate and redefine DNA molecules. In double bonds, atoms share two electron pairs, while, in a triple bond, atoms share three pairs of electrons.

Read on to know if all atoms form Covalent Bonds.

Do all atoms form covalent bonds?

In most cases, all atoms form covalent bonds with other atoms to gain more stability. This stability is gained by forming a full electron shell, full valence electrons or a full valence shell formation.

Atoms share their outermost valence electrons to fill up their outer electron shell and gain stability. Atoms mutually try to share their electrons with each other to complete the Octet Rule. The Octet Rule requires eight electrons to exist and fill their s- and p- orbital, which is termed as a noble gas configuration. The only elements that are likely not to form covalent bonds are potassium (K) and argon (Ar).

Why do non-metal atoms share electrons in covalent bonds instead of transferring them?

A covalent bond is formed when pairs of electrons are shared between atoms. The reason why electrons are shared is related to the overall stability of the atoms.

Rather than transferring electrons in a covalent bond, atoms in non-metals share pairs of electrons in order to achieve stability. Non-metals are able to form covalent bonds with other non-metals. They do this by forming anywhere from 1-3 covalent bonds depending on the number of outer-most valence electrons that they possess in the valence shell.

An atom only achieves a more stable state when the valence electron shell is full. Non-metals achieve a stable state for their valence electron shell by sharing two pairs of electrons which allows them to attain a more stable state by filling their valence electron shell.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do atoms share electrons in covalent bonds then why not take a look at where do ducks sleep? Do all ducks sleep with one eye open?, or where do cells come from? Curious biology questions for kids.

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