Covalent Bonding

Covalent Bonding is defined as:

The sharing of electrons that occurs when the atoms involved can thus acquire particulary stable electron configurations.

But, what does that mean?

Basically electrons are similar to people, they like to be stable! Humans are most stable when their personal worlds are happy and complete. Electrons are just the same - they are the happiest when their worlds are stable, namely their electron orbitals are filled!

All atoms have a certain number of electrons floating around their nucleus. The number of electrons is dependent on the particular atom. The arrangement is governed by rules surrounding electron configurations. You've already read about this feature, but if you've forgotten, click back to review!

OK, now that you are a pro at finding out where the electrons belong in the orbitals, we can take this information and determine the bonding types. The atoms are going to want to share their electrons to become the most stable, and therefore the happiest.

How does this work exactly?

Can you have more than two atoms bonded together? ABSOLUTELY! Most compounds are formed as a result of many atoms bonding together.

Let's look at the molecule CH4.

When an atom's orbital is all filled and happy, then you can look at the shape of the molecule you created. Chemists call that their molecular geometry.


Continue to Molecular Geometry.

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