Chemical Bonding Rules

Chemical bonds involve electrons.
••• polymer in tube image by laurent dambies from

Chemical bonding rules apply to atoms and molecules and are the basis for the formation of chemical compounds. The chemical bond that is formed between two or more atoms is an electromagnetic force of attraction between two opposing charges. Electrons have a negative charge and are attracted to or held in an orbit by the positively charged nucleus of an atom.

Rules for Electrons

Electrons orbit a nucleus.
••• atom image by Oleg Verbitsky from

Negatively charged electrons circle or orbit the positively charged nucleus (center mass) of an atom. The electrons are held in their orbit by the attraction to the nucleus. In the formation of a chemical compound, a second atom also pulls the electrons so that the most stable configuration of the electrons of both atoms is in the center. In a sense, the electrons are shared by the two nuclei, and a chemical bond is formed. These chemical bonds between atoms dictate the structure of matter.

Covalent and Ionic Bonds

Covalent and ionic bonds are strong chemical bonds.
••• chondroitin sulfate image by Cornelia Pithart from

Covalent and ionic bonds are strong chemical bonds. In a covalent bond, the electrons between two atoms are shared and exist in the space between the two nuclei. The negatively charged electrons are attracted to both nuclei, either equally or unequally. The unequal sharing of electrons between atoms is called a polar covalent bond. Ionic bonds do not include a sharing of electrons but rather electron transfer. An electron from one atom leaves its atomic orbit, which creates a void that allows the addition of electrons from other atoms. The bond between atoms is an electrostatic attraction as one atom becomes slightly more positive and one slightly more negative.

Weaker Bond Strengths

Weak molecular forces attract molecules together.
••• glass atom image by Marvin Gerste from

Examples of weak chemical bonds include dipole-dipole interactions, the London dispersion force, Van der Waals and hydrogen bonding. In the abovementioned polar covalent bond, the sharing of electrons is not equal. When two such molecules come into contact and are oppositely charged, there is a dipole-dipole interaction that attracts them together. The other examples of weak molecular forces, the London dispersion force, Van der Waals and hydrogen bonding, are the result of hydrogen atoms being bonded to another atom through a polar covalent bond. These bonds are weak but very important in biological systems.

Related Articles

What Are the Two Major Components of an Atom?
Number of Protons in an Uncharged Atom
Does the Nucleus of an Atom Have Much of an Effect...
What Is the Comparison Between Atoms & Molecules?
Definition of Molecular Bonds
How to Convert Grams to AMU
Difference Between Atoms & Ions
How to Find Out If an Element Is an Ion
What Is a Group of Atoms That Are Joined Together and...
Relationship Between the Atomic Number and the Chemical...
What Is the Relationship Between a Molecule & an Atom?
How to Calculate the Radius of an Atom
Covalent Vs. Hydrogen Bonds
Characteristics of a Proton
What Are the Properties of Protons?
How to Calculate a Fraction Covalent
What Is Conserved in Chemical Reactions?
Why Does the Boiling Point Increase When the Atomic...
How to Find the Mass Number of Bromine With 46 Neutrons