catenation

Asked by aayushverma | 13th Sep, 2008, 02:09: PM

Expert Answer:

The ability of an element to catenate is primarily based on the bond energy of the element to itself. This ability is also influenced by a range of steric and electronic factors, including the electronegativity of the element in question, the molecular orbital hybridization and the ability to form different kinds of covalent bonds. For example, carbon has the ability to form both sigma and pi bonds to itself. This is due to an overlap between pi-electron orbitals, allowing electron density to be shared and thus stabilising the bond. Silicon, on the other hand, has negligible overlap between pi-orbitals, and thus tends to not form pi-bonds by preference

Answered by  | 15th Sep, 2008, 08:17: AM

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