Molecular Shape

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

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Princess Jereza 3C
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Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:16 am

Molecular Shape

Postby Princess Jereza 3C » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:39 pm

During lecture, how does a shape of a molecule contribute to the strength of an interaction? And by shape, do we mean spherical or log shapes, and how far apart they are from another atom/molecule? thanks

Alexa Mugol 3I
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Molecular Shape

Postby Alexa Mugol 3I » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:33 pm

The shape can contribute to the strength of an interaction because more surface area interacting to make the bond will lead to a stronger bond. By shape, we mean the shape of the molecule--because electrons repel each other, a certain arrangement of atoms will minimize the repulsions and thus maximize the stability of the molecule.

Manav Govil 1B
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Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:19 am

Re: Molecular Shape

Postby Manav Govil 1B » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:32 am

The surface area of the shape is important when it comes to dipole moments. If the two molecules expose more surface area to one another, then they have more London attractions. The molecules will be highly polarizable and have a greater intermolecular force than two molecules that expose less surface area to one another.

I hope that this is what you were referring to.

sarahforman_Dis2I
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Molecular Shape

Postby sarahforman_Dis2I » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:11 am

Princess Jereza 3C wrote:During lecture, how does a shape of a molecule contribute to the strength of an interaction? And by shape, do we mean spherical or log shapes, and how far apart they are from another atom/molecule? thanks



Just to echo what other people have said on this thread, if a nonpolar molecule has a more flat shape, the molecules can get closer together and tough with a higher amount of surface area. This means that the London forces will be larger. When dealing with polar bonds, the molecular shape is also important. Bonds themselves can be polar, but just because bonds are polar, that does not necessarily mean that the molecule itself is polar. For example, in CO2, the CO bond is polar, but since the molecular shape is a line, the polar vector dipoles cancel each other out, causing the molecule to be nonpolar (even though it contains polar bonds). I hope that helps!


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