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Electron cloud distortion is the polarization of an electronegative atom. It is when the electrons from the electronegative atom move towards the atom with a small atomic radius and high effective nuclear charge since the electrons are attracted to it. This distorts the shape of the electron cloud.
As the person above me mentioned, electron cloud distortion is the polarization of a molecule. The smaller, highly positive atom they are talking about is usually a cation, which has the "polarizing power" as we have discussed in class. The smaller and more highly charged the molecule, the greater the polarizing power. This causes electrons to shift around the atom, distorting the electron cloud.
to add to the person above, the highly polarizable atom is typically a very large anion. when polarizability is high, typically it means the anion is extremely large, with electrons distant to the nucleus. When you mix a very large anion with a very small highly charged cation, you get strong forces between the two.
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