Covalent bond – Definition, Types and Examples

Covalent bond - Definition


What is a covalent bond 

A covalent bond is formed by the sharing of electron pairs. Such bond formation takes place in non-metals. But also can be seen in metals and non-metals. Unlike ionic compounds, electrons are shared between bonding atoms instead of direct transfer. Covalent bonds are weaker than ionic bonds.

Types of covalent bonds

1. Based on shared pairs of electrons

Single bond
Double bond 
Triple bond

Single covalent bond

A covalent bond in which only one pair of an electron is shared between bonding atoms. Single covalent bond consists of a sigma bond. Example – CH3-CH3 (ethane).

Double covalent bond

A covalent bond in which two pairs of an electron are shared. The double bond consists of one sigma bond and one pi bond. Example – CH2=CH2 (ethene)

Triple covalent bond

A covalent bond in which three pairs of electrons are shared between bonding atoms. Triple covalent bond consists of one sigma bond and two pi bond. It is much stronger than the single and double bond. It is more s character hence attraction between bonding atoms is strong. Example – Ethyne 

Read also 5 Properties of Ionic Compounds


2. Based on polarity

   ● Polar bond
   ● Non-polar bond

Polar bond  

It is a particular type of covalent bond in which electron density get shifted towards atom having more electronegativity. 

Example H-Cl (Hydrochoric acid). 
In HCl, chlorine is more electronegative than hydrogen. so it attracts electron density towards itself. Hence hydrogen acquires partial positive charge and chlorine acquires the partial negative charge. 

Non-polar bond  

It is a bond in which electron density is equally spread. In such type of bonding atoms having similar electronegativity take part. Hence electron density is equally attracted by both atoms. 

Example  H-H (Hydrogen molecule)
This is a hydrogen molecule which is non-polar in nature. Both atoms are identical hence the distribution of electron density on both atoms is the same.

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