2 minute read

Chemical Bond

Other Types Of Bonds

Other types of chemical bonds also exist. The atoms that make up a metal, for example, are held together by a metallic bond. A metallic bond is one in which all of the metal atoms share with each other a cloud of electrons. The electrons that make up that cloud originate from the outermost energy levels of the atoms.

A hydrogen bond is a weak force of attraction that exists between two atoms or ions with opposite charges. For example, the hydrogen-oxygen bonds in water are polar bonds. The hydrogen end of these bonds are slightly positive and the oxygen ends, slightly negative. Two molecules of water placed next to each other will feel a force of attraction because the oxygen end of one molecule feels an electrical force of attraction to the hydrogen end of the other molecule. Hydrogen bonds are very common and extremely important in biological systems. They are strong enough to hold substances together, but weak enough to break apart and allow chemical changes to take place within the system.

Van der Waals forces are yet another type of chemical bond. Such forces exist between particles that appear to be electrically neutral. The rapid shifting of electrons that takes place within such molecules means that some parts of the molecule are momentarily charged, either positively or negatively. For this reason, very weak, transient forces of attraction can develop between particles that are actually neutral.



Bynum, W.F., E.J. Browne, and Roy Porter. Dictionary of the History of Science. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981, pp. 433-435.

Kotz, John C., and Paul Treichel. Chemistry and Cehmical Reactivity. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1998.

Lide, D.R., ed. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2001.

Oxtoby, David W., et al. The Principles of Modern Chemistry. 5th ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 2002.

Pauling, Linus. The Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals: An Introduction to Modern Structural Chemistry. 3rd edition. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1960.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Coordinate covalent bond

—A type of covalent bond in which all shared electrons are donated by only one of two atoms.

Covalent bond

—A chemical bond formed when two atoms share a pair of electrons with each other.

Double bond

—A covalent bond consisting of two pairs of shared electrons that hold the two atoms together.


—A quantitative method for indicating the relative tendency of an atom to attract the electrons that make up a covalent bond.

Ionic bond

—A chemical bond formed when one atom gains and a second atom loses electrons.

Lewis symbol

—A method for designating the structure of atoms and molecules in which the chemical symbol for an element is surrounded by dots indicating the number of valence electrons in the atom of that element.


—A collection of atoms held together by some force of attraction.

Multiple bond

—A double or triple bond.

Polar bond

—A covalent bond in which one end of the bond is more positive than the other end.

Structural formula

—The chemical representation of a molecule that shows how the atoms are arranged within the molecule.

Triple bond

—A triple bond is formed when three pairs of electrons are shared between two atoms..

Valence electrons

—The electrons in the outermost shell of an atom that determine an element's chemical properties.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Categorical judgement to ChimaeraChemical Bond - History, The Origin Of Bond Symbolism, Development Of The Modern Theory Of Bonding, Bond Types