Which elements form covalent bonds?

365
23
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!
 

Borek

Mentor
27,996
2,504
Where does the question come from? Please remember most bonds have a mixed character, they are to some extent ionic, to some extent covalent. Are you sure there are elements which can be classified as "never covalently bonding"?
 
365
23
Thanks for your response Borek.
I was looking up different kinds of bonds and was curious about this specific question. I am not super familiar with the world of chemical bonds.
I think that is my question mainly, are there elements that never covalently bond?
I didn't know that it was usually a mix, so even though there is a covalent "exchange" of electrons, there is usually some other electrostatic or some other form of bond at the same time?
 

Borek

Mentor
27,996
2,504
Atoms bond with each other and they don't care about "how" - the only thing that matters is that after they are in a more stable state. Problems start when we try to name and classify bonds - both "ionic" and "covalent" are only our approximations, some ideal states that almost never occur in the real molecules.
 
365
23
But they are different kids of bonds, right? Distinctly different from one another? I guess a rainbow spectrum also merges colors from one to another but there are still distinguishable colors/frequencies, and there are some places where certain spectrums don't reach.
Can a similar thing be said with covalent bonds? Or any other bonds?
I am still confused about whether certain atoms can emerge (or not) certain "types" of bonds, whatever that might mean.
Or is the idea to just talk about "one kind of a bond", with different variations?
 
D

DS2C

The "type" isnt 100% cut and dry. Theyre classified by the electronegativity. See attached pic.
 

Attachments

365
23
That is super helpful, thanks DS2C!
Now are there certain elements that bond only in the "pure covalent zone", or do most atoms have some, if even super small inclination for either of the other bonds?
It seems that it might be the latter based on everyone's responses. Or am I thinking of all this all wrong?
 
365
23
Another thing that comes to mind, if a molecule gets created where there are more different atoms being added, I imagine that would change it's electronegativity in different parts, and as a result the "type of bond" it can create with other substances. Would that be correct?
 
365
23
And another final question: would that spectrum above include all the types of bonds that can exist, I've read about, Van der Waals, Hydrophobic, π-effects, would all these be somwhere in that drawing?
 

Ygggdrasil

Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2,874
1,949
The simplified version is that bonds between two non-metals are covalent whereas a bond between a non-metal and a metal is ionic, though there are many exceptions.
 
Last edited:

Borek

Mentor
27,996
2,504
The problem is - as usual in chemistry - you will always find exceptions.
 
D

DS2C

I think your best bet is to really look into how electronegativity works, and that will help you understand bonds. Theres really no exact answer and like Borek said there are exceptions. When I took my Intro Chemistry class I think my professor got real annoyed with me because Id always ask for absolutes and there really arent any.
 
365
23
Thanks everyone for your responses, very helpful!
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"Which elements form covalent bonds?" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top