Difference between bonding and antibonding molecular orbitals
Bonding and anti-bonding molecular orbitals represent two distinct outcomes of the combination of atomic orbitals in the molecular orbital theory. Bonding molecular orbitals (BMOs) result from the constructive interference of atomic orbitals, leading to enhanced electron density between the nuclei of the bonded atoms. BMOs are characterized by lower energy levels, contributing to the stability of the molecule by fostering the formation of strong chemical bonds.
On the other hand, anti-bonding molecular orbitals (ABMOs) arise from destructive interference, resulting in regions of minimal electron density between nuclei. ABMOs possess higher energy levels, making the molecule less stable, as the presence of electrons in these orbitals weakens the overall bonding. In essence, while bonding molecular orbitals promote stability and strong bonds, anti-bonding molecular orbitals introduce instability and can weaken the cohesive forces between atoms in a molecule.
What are bonding molecular orbitals?
Bonding molecular orbitals are more stable and have less energy. Atomic orbitals constructively interfere to produce BMOs, which raise stability and lower energy levels. Strong chemical bonds are formed in part by the electrons in these orbitals.
What are anti-bonding molecular orbitals?
Antibonding molecular orbitals are less stable and have high energy. Destructive interference produces ABMOs, which have higher energy levels and less stability. ABMOs have electrons that weaken bonds, increasing the molecule’s reactivity.
Comparison of bonding and antibonding molecular orbitals
|Bonding molecular orbital||Antibonding molecular orbital|
|1. A molecular orbital that has lower energy than the isolated atomic orbitals from which it is formed is known as a bonding molecular orbital. |
2. It has a high electron density between the nuclei.
3. It is formed due to the addition of electron waves of like signs.
4. Electron density is located in the space between the nuclei.
5. It has lower energy than the antibonding molecular orbital.
6. Electrons help to form a stable bond between the atoms.
|1. A molecular orbital that has higher energy than the isolated atomic orbitals from which it is formed is known as an antibonding molecular orbital. |
2. It has no electron density between the nuclei.
3. It is formed due to the subtraction of electron waves of unlike signs.
4. Electron density is located away from the space between the nuclei.
5. It has higher energy than the bonding molecular orbital.
6. Electrons destabilize between the atoms.