Double bond


Two atoms sharing electrons as in a single bond (that is, a sigma bond) may also share electrons in an orbital with a node passing through the two atoms. This adds a second, weaker bonding interaction (a pi bond); the combination is termed a double bond. A twisting motion that forces the nodal plane at one atom to become perpendicular to the nodal plane on the other atom eliminates the (signed) overlap between the atomic orbitals, destroying the pi bond. The energy required to do this creates a large barrier to rotation about the bond (see triple bond).





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