What is Covalent bonding: Definition and 26 Discussions

A covalent bond is a chemical bond that involves the sharing of electron pairs between atoms. These electron pairs are known as shared pairs or bonding pairs, and the stable balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms, when they share electrons, is known as covalent bonding. For many molecules, the sharing of electrons allows each atom to attain the equivalent of a full valence shell, corresponding to a stable electronic configuration. In organic chemistry, covalent bonds are much more common than ionic bonds.
Covalent bonding also includes many kinds of interactions, including σ-bonding, π-bonding, metal-to-metal bonding, agostic interactions, bent bonds, three-center two-electron bonds and three-center four-electron bonds. The term covalent bond dates from 1939. The prefix co- means jointly, associated in action, partnered to a lesser degree, etc.; thus a "co-valent bond", in essence, means that the atoms share "valence", such as is discussed in valence bond theory.
In the molecule H2, the hydrogen atoms share the two electrons via covalent bonding. Covalency is greatest between atoms of similar electronegativities. Thus, covalent bonding does not necessarily require that the two atoms be of the same elements, only that they be of comparable electronegativity. Covalent bonding that entails the sharing of electrons over more than two atoms is said to be delocalized.

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  1. ruivocanadense

    I Covalent Bonds -- Which type of force?

    When you study physics deeper you learn there are 4 types of atomic forces that represent all other in the atomic level (i.e. electromagnetic force, gravitational force, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force). I always try to see how they manifest in the the atomic interactions. For example...
  2. nomadreid

    Molecular covalent bonds across energy levels

    I am sure this is an elementary question; I'm just trying to clarify some points that were poorly explained to me years ago in secondary school. I know that a full answer would involve solving Schrödinger's equation etc., but keeping this on the level of valence electrons,...) I was confused by...
  3. Mayhem

    [Quantum Chemistry] Generalized wave function in covalent bonding

    Is there a general expression for the wave function $\psi$, which describes the electronic properties of an arbitrary covalent bond? For example is it equal to some sort of trigonometric expression?
  4. Dario56

    Why Do Atoms Need to Have Free Electrons to Create Covalent Bonds?

    Atoms bond because compounds are more stable or have less energy than individual atoms. Interatomic potential energy depends with distance of atoms and there is a distance at which potential energy has minimum. This distance is a length of the bond. When forming covalent bonds, why is it...
  5. C

    Can Covalent Bonds form between atoms with no electrons?

    Homework Statement I learned that Covalent Bonds form between different specific atoms ( with similar electro-negativity ) with electrons. However, I wondered what type of bond would form between the different atoms if they had no electrons? Also , if I have 2 atoms with similar...
  6. Navin

    Most Accepted Theory For Covalent Bonding

    Alright guys...for the past month and a half my chemistry class consisted on lectures on chemical bonding. From the days of Kossel and Lewis To modern concepts of VSEPR,Hybridisation and Molecular orbital theory. According to Wikipedia they say the two basic models based on quantum mechanics...
  7. V

    Hybridisation Doubt: When Does it Take Place and When Not?

    There is an example given in my textbook showing the structure of BF3. In it, they have hybridised the orbitals of B to sp2, but not of F. It's written sp2-p overlapping. Why isn't flourine also hybridised, seeing it has 3 lone pairs and 1 bond pair, it could have sp3 hybridisation? Also, in...
  8. navneet9431

    NaOH vs C2H5OH: Reason for Disassociation

    If we put NaOH in water then it disassociates into ##OH^{-}## ions(hydroxyl ions) but if we put ##C_2H_5OH## in water it does not disassociates into ##OH^{-}## ions. What is the reason that ##NaOH## disassociates into ##OH^{-}## ions(hydroxyl ions) whereas ##C_2H_5OH## does not disassociate...
  9. I

    Which elements form covalent bonds?

    This might be a very basic question. What are the elements that are in the world of creating covalent bonds, distinguishing themsevels from the elements that never form covalent bonds? Many thanks!
  10. T

    Covalent bonding in salts

    I learned some time ago that in table salt, the valence electron spends only about 2/3 of its life in chlorine, and goes home on the weekends. This still feels weird to me, because every representation of an ionic compound shows the ions as completely separate. So what does the covalent bonding...
  11. RicardoMP

    Covalent bonding - Energy gain

    Homework Statement I'm considering a molecule made by three atoms, each a vertex of an equilateral triangle. Each atom has a covalent bond with its neighbours, sharing their only valence electron. I must estimate the energy gain when creating the molecule, using tight binding theory. Homework...
  12. D

    Why does the potential energy get lower as atoms get closer?

    Hello. I'm new to this forum and to Physics and Chemistry in general and I have a question that's making me go crazy: why does the potential energy decrease as two atoms (say, hydrogen atoms) get closer to form a molecule? I'm talking about this graphic: I've read that it's related to the...
  13. pinochet

    Covalent Bonding: How Does H2 Molecule Bond?

    Hi, I read in a textbook that covalent bonds are formed when atoms share an electron. The book gave an example of the H2 molecule. I'm having trouble understanding how H2 can still bond when the nuclei and electrons are repelling. Shouldn't that cancel the attraction force between the atoms?
  14. amjad-sh

    Tight binding model (covalent bonding)

    Homework Statement (linear combination of atomic orbitals): Lets consider two atoms which are bond together with a covalent bond. Let's consider any sets of wavefunctions |n\rangle for n=1,2,...,N. Let's call orbital |1\rangle around nucleus 1 and orbital |2\rangle around nucleus 2 and so on...
  15. Priyadarshini

    How Do You Tell When A Compound Will Form A Coordinate Bond?

    How can you tell when a compound will form a covalent bond or a coordinate bond? I know that a coordinate bond is a special type of covalent bond and if during covalent bonding, if the elements taking part do not obtain a noble gas configuration, they for coordinate bonds. But take for example...
  16. H

    Pure Covalent Bonding: Understanding its Role in Atomic Bonds

    Hi, If two atoms of the same element form a bond together, would the bond be purely covalent or would it have a small ionic character as well ? If it does have an ionic character please explain why. Thanks
  17. C

    Covalent bonding in transition metals. Can someone help?

    According to my book, for 1st row Transition Metals, the acidity of a aquo-complex is greater for those elements at the right of the periodic table. They justify this by saying that to the RHS, the cation is more polarizing and weakens the O-H bond to a greater extent. I do get this, but...
  18. S

    Is covalent bonding only between non metals?

    So far we've learned that ionic bonding is between metals and non metals, now we are learning about covalent bonding, so far it seems that covalent bonding is only between non metals. Is this true?
  19. K

    Covalent Bonding: H2 Homework Problem 10-7

    Homework Statement Other molecular orbital combinations, besides that in Problem 5, may be formed out of products like \Psi\footnotesize+(r1)\Psi\footnotesize-(r2) and \Psi\footnotesize-(r1)\Psi\footnotesize-(r2) times singlet or triplet spin functions. Five additional functions , all...
  20. L

    Ionic and covalent bonding

    I've been wondering if atoms were lazy particles, because if Ionic bonding occurs when electrons are taken from one atom to another, and the electrostatic attractions between the oppositely charged particles keep them together, why is it that the covalent bond doesn't go ahead and switch the...
  21. D

    Covalent Bonding: O2 vs S8 - Understand the Logic

    Ok I understand that O2 wants to have a stable number of electrons for its period which is 8 and so it shares two pairs of electrons. But what about S8. I thought it would form S2. Why is it forming S8, what is the logic. Cheers Damian
  22. K

    Covalent Bonding and Bonding Order

    I know what Covalent bonding is... and i know what bonding order is. I couldn't think of anything where there is a triple bond or higher... I just wanted to see if anyone could come up with a few examples. Thanks~ ^_~
  23. K

    Covalent Bonding: Boron's 5 Valence Electrons

    More questions lol. Ive looked this up and still can't get a clear answer. Lets say you have Boron...this atom has 5 valence electrons. I know that it can just have 3 covalent bonds with one other atom of Boron like this: :B lll B But could it not just have a single convalent...
  24. J

    Covalent Bonding: Combining C & C

    [SOLVED] Covalent bonding? How do i write combined covalent bonds? For example how would i put together C and C to make a covalent bond(would it just be CC)?
  25. M

    Covalent bonding has limited range?

    Hello. Covalent bonding molicules, right, are usually in lower quantum energy states. e.g. for a typical dihydrogen mol at air temp, the 2 electrons are often in the first or second lowest quantum state. But, natch, the molicule can still exist with the electron at higher quantum states. In...
  26. C

    Covalent Bonding: Why Na 3s Electron Energy is Higher than Cl 3p

    Why the energy of 3s electron of Na is much higher than that of the 3p electrons of Cl?