Distinguish covalent and partially covalent chemical bonds

  1. I read some books which mention about covalent and partially covalent chemical bonds. However, I cannot distinguish between them. Who can help me?
    Thank you very much!
  2. jcsd
  3. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    The only purely covalent bonds I can think of are those in diatomic molecules of gases. In every other case electronegativity of the atoms is different and the bond has some ionic character and some covalent character.

    Please note covalent/ionic classification is not precise - while there are obvious differences between bonds (compounds) on both ends of the scale, there is a continuum of intermediary states. Where we put the border between one type of the bond and other type of the bond is just a convention.
  4. DrClaude

    Staff: Mentor

    Just to add a precision: that would be homonuclear diatomic molecules. You can add also other special cases like the CC bond in ethane, where the molecule is completely symmetric.
  5. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    Good point, thanks. That's what I had on mind, but the wording was lousy.
  6. DrDu

    DrDu 4,638
    Science Advisor

    Even homonuclear bonds have an ionic contribution, and it is not easy to quantify the respective portion of covalent vs. ionic bonding. One appealing methods is the Bader analysis of "atoms in molecules":
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