Delta Positive / Negative

(Polar molecules, Non-polar molecules, etc.)

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Kathleen Vidanes 1E
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Delta Positive / Negative

Postby Kathleen Vidanes 1E » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:51 pm

After drawing a Lewis Dot Structure, I am still confused as to how and why we write either a delta positive or delta negative next to each element. Can anyone please explain how this is done in full detail?

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Re: Delta Positive / Negative

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:34 pm

Some atoms are more electronegative than other atoms, meaning that in a "tug of war" for electron, these atoms are more likely to gain the electron. As a result, when a bond form between two atoms with different electronegativity (like the O-H bond in H2O), the more electronegative atom will pull the shared electron more towards itself, causing it to more a bit more negative. Again in the case of O-H bond in water, Oxygen is more electronegative so it pulls the electron a bit more towards itself, so Oxygen becomes partially negative, which is why we put delta negative on the atom. When the electronegativity difference between two atoms forming a bond gets large enough, the electron pair will be pulled entirely to one atom, and thus creating a positive and a negative ion.

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Re: Delta Positive / Negative

Postby mayasinha1B » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:29 pm

Every covalent bond has some ionic character, so it is important to depict which atom pulls the electrons towards it slightly more (depicted with delta negative).

Jordan Foster
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Re: Delta Positive / Negative

Postby Jordan Foster » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:02 pm

Although covalent bonds are thought of as shared electrons, the sharing is almost always unequal. The atom that is more electronegative is going to attract the electrons for more time than the less electronegative atom.

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