Intermolecular Forces in Organic Molecules

Intermolecular forces are one of those topics in organic chemistry that helps to bring together the real world and the structures on paper.

So, what are the intermolecular forces? The intermolecular forces are the weak forces that occur between the molecules. They are not as strong as chemical bonds. And they are not as permanent either and can shift easily.

There are three major types of intermolecular forces that we typically see in organic chemistry:

  1. London Dispersion Forces (This type of interaction occurs when two molecules approach each other and the electron clouds on the atoms experience a slight polarization. Because of that, the London dispersion forces are sometimes called induced dipole interactions.)
  2. Dipole-Dipole Interactions (We see the dipole-dipole interactions when we have permanent dipoles in the molecule.)
  3. Hydrogen Bonding (The hydrogen bonding is a special type of dipole interaction. It’s generally much stronger than most dipole interactions and it has a more complex nature than a simple electrostatic attraction. Hydrogen bonding occurs when a hydrogen connected to an N, O, or F atoms interacts with an electron pair from another N, O, or F atom.)

Do you know all these three types?

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