Ask Question
28 August, 23:54

What are the factors that govern the degree of overlap of atomic orbitals on different atoms?

Answers (1)
  1. 29 August, 00:50
    The orientation of the orbitals, the energy difference between them, their orbital sizes, and distance between the orbitals


    1. Orientation

    For example, the overlap between two p orbitals is roughly proportional to the cosine of the angle between them. An angle of 0° gives the best possible orbital overlap An angle of 90° means that the orbitals are orthogonal and have zero overlap. An angle of 180° means they are out of phase. There will be destructive overlap, and you will get an antibonding π * orbital.

    2. Energy difference

    If two orbitals have similar energies, they will have good overlap. The greater the energy difference, the poorer the orbital overlap. For example, a 3p orbital is higher in energy than a 2p. It can overlap efficiently with another 3p orbital, but not as well with a lower-energy 2p orbital.

    3. Size difference

    As the energy of an orbital increases, so does its size. A carbon 2p orbital cannot overlap efficiently with a chlorine 3p orbital that is twice its size.

    4. Distance

    The greater the distance between two orbitals, the poorer is their overlap.
Know the Answer?