Electronegativity


 

Electronegativity is a measure of the ability of an atom or molecule to attract electrons in the context of a chemical bond. The type of bond formed is largely determined by the difference in electronegativity between the atoms involved. Atoms with similar electronegativities will share an electron with each other and form a covalent bond. However, if the difference is too great, the electron will be permanently transferred to one atom and an ionic bond will form. Furthermore, in a covalent bond if one atom pulls slightly harder than the other, a polar covalent bond will form.
No electronegativity difference between two atoms leads to a pure non-polar covalent bond. A small electronegativity difference leads to a polar covalent bond. A large electronegativity difference leads to an ionic bond.

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