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Covalent Bond

Why do covalent bonds form?

When non-metals react with one another,


their atoms share valence electrons.

The bond formed between atoms that


share electrons is called a covalent bond.

After bonding, each atom attains the electronic


configuration of a noble gas.

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What are molecules?

When atoms combine by sharing electrons, a


molecule is formed.

A molecule is a group of two or more atoms


held together by covalent bonds.

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Molecules of Elements

Many non-metallic elements exist as molecules


made up of two or more identical atoms.

Let us look at how electrons are shared and


arranged within molecules of some elements:

hydrogen, chlorine and oxygen

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Hydrogen
Two hydrogen atoms share a
A hydrogen atom has pair of electrons so that each
1 valence electron. atom has 2 electrons in its
valence shell.

As a result, both have a stable duplet configuration.

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Hydrogen

The sharing of 2 electrons forms a single covalent


bond.

A single covalent bond or a single bond is represented


by a single line ‘–’ in the structural formula.

‘Dot and cross’ Structural Molecular


Model
diagram formula formula

H H H2

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Chlorine

A chlorine atom has 7 valence electrons.

To attain an octet structure, 2 chlorine atoms


combine to share a pair of electrons.

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Chlorine

Like hydrogen, chlorine has a single covalent bond.

‘Dot and cross’ Structural Molecular


Model
diagram formula formula

Cl Cl Cl2

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Oxygen

It needs 2 more electrons to


An oxygen atom has 6 form a stable octet structure.
valence electrons.

Each oxygen atom shares two of its electrons with


another oxygen atom.

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Oxygen

4 electrons are shared between 2 oxygen atoms.


Such a bond is called a double covalent bond.

‘Dot and cross’ Structural Molecular


Model
diagram formula formula

O O O2

A double bond is represented by ‘ ’ in a structural formula.


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Which is strongest covalent bonding?

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Molecules of Compounds

When 2 or more different types of atoms form


covalent bonds, a molecular compound or
covalent compound is formed.

Water, methane and carbon dioxide are examples of


covalent compounds.

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Water

Water is formed by the reaction of hydrogen with


oxygen such that all three atoms attain noble gas
configurations.

‘Dot and cross’ Structural Molecular


Model
diagram formula formula

H 2O

Each water molecule contains two single covalent bonds.

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Methane
Methane (CH4) contains carbon and hydrogen.
‘Dot and cross’ Structural Molecular
Model
diagram formula formula

CH4

In a methane molecule, the carbon atom has an octet


configuration while each hydrogen atom has a duplet
configuration.
Methane has four single covalent bonds.
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Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Each carbon atom shares 2 electrons each with two


oxygen atoms.

Each oxygen atom shares 2 electrons


with a carbon atom.

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‘Dot and cross’ Structural Molecular
Model
diagram formula formula

CO2

Consequently, a carbon dioxide molecule


contains two double covalent bonds.

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Naming Covalent Compound

• 1# The second element end must be –ide.


Example : CO2 (Carbon dioxide)

• 2 # Previxes must be added before the


element names.
• Except : Mono in the first element.

Example : NO2 (Nitrogen dioxide)


N2O3 (Dinitrogen trioxide)
Cl2O (Dichlorine monoxide)

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Writing the formulae of covalent
compounds
What is the chemical formula of carbon tetrachloride?
Thought Process:
We assume the first element named (in this
case, carbon) contains only one atom unless
otherwise stated.
The word ‘tetrachloride’ means ‘four chlorine atoms’.

Answer: CCl4

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What is the chemical formula of
dinitrogen monoxide?

Answer:

N2O
‘dinitrogen’ means
‘2 nitrogen atoms’.

‘Monoxide’ means ‘1 oxide’.


Notice the subscript ‘1’ is not
indicated on the formula.

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What is the chemical formula of
dinitrogen tetroxide?

Answer:

‘dinitrogen’ = 2 nitrogen atoms ‘tetroxide’ = 4 oxygen atoms

N2O4

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You should learn the chemical formulae of
some common covalent substances, such as

ammonia (NH3),
hydrogen peroxide (H2O2),
methane (CH4),
ozone (O3) and
water (H2O).

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