Covalent Bonds

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Alysia Garcia 1B
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Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:02 am

Covalent Bonds

Postby Alysia Garcia 1B » Sun May 13, 2018 5:00 pm

Why do we chose an atom with the lowest ionization energy as the central atom?

Marisol Sanchez - 1E
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:05 am

Re: Covalent Bonds

Postby Marisol Sanchez - 1E » Sun May 13, 2018 5:10 pm

I believe this is due to the fact that atoms with lower ionization energies are prone to have more open spaces that need to be filled with electrons, or less of a complete octet. So putting that as the central atom makes the Lewis structure easier since this atom would have more access to forming multiple bonds with different atoms to fill their octet.

Odalys Cuevas 1C
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:02 am

Re: Covalent Bonds

Postby Odalys Cuevas 1C » Sun May 13, 2018 5:21 pm

I think that we choose an atom with the lowest ionization energy as the central atom because those are the atoms that have electrons that are less tight.It makes it easier to add more electrons to the atoms to make it less likely to remove electrons and have more bonds.

Hannah Lee 1B
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am

Re: Covalent Bonds

Postby Hannah Lee 1B » Sun May 13, 2018 11:08 pm

The central atom has to bond with more atoms around it - a central atom with lower ionization energy would more readily share its electrons (since it's not "holding onto" its electrons as tightly). Also, atoms with higher ionization energy usually have more lone pairs, which would cause more repulsion and instability if it were in the center.

Bryan Jiang 1F
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:03 am
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Re: Covalent Bonds

Postby Bryan Jiang 1F » Mon May 14, 2018 5:31 pm

I think it’s also important to remember that this is just a guideline. Finding formal charges might be the best way to determine which atom should be the central atom. Consider the case for ONF (from problem 3.33). Although oxygen technically has the lowest ionization energy of the three elements, it is actually not the central atom. N would be the central atom in this case because of more harmonious formal charge.


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