The Cheshire cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland comes and goes at will, and engages Alice with baffling philosophical points. Chemical bonds are a bit like that too. In the previous post, we saw how (some) bonds can be tuned to be strong or weak simply by how a lone pair of electrons elsewhere in the molecule is oriented with respect to the bond. Here I explore another way of looking at bonds. To start, we must introduce a quantity known as ∇2ρ(r), henceforth termed the Laplacian of the electron density ρ(r).
Posts Tagged ‘chemical bonds’
Car transmissions come in two types, ones with fixed ratio gears, and ones which are continuously variable. When it comes to chemical bonds, we tend to think of them as being very much of the first type. Bonds come in fixed ratios; single, aromatic, double, triple, etc. OK, they do vary, but the variations are assumed as small perturbations on the basic form. Take for example the molecule shown below. The bonds as shown are all clearly single (the wedge and hashed bond are merely stereochemical notations). No-one would really think of drawing this molecule in any other way, and this idea of the transferability of bonds between molecules (all double bonds react in specific ways which are different from single bonds, and they also have characteristic spectroscopic properties, etc) is what allows molecules to be classified.
Quite a few threads have developed in this series of posts, and following each leads in rather different directions. In this previous post the comment was made that coordinating a carbon dication to the face of a cyclopentadienyl anion resulted in a monocation which had a remarkably high proton affinity. So it is a simple progression to ask whether these systems may in turn harbour a large affinity for binding not so much a H+ as the next homologue He2+?