chapter 4: Intermolecular pressures

If there were no intermolecular pressures than all matter would exist as gases and also we would not it is in here. This thing introduces learners to a brand-new concept called an intermolecular force. The is simple for learner to end up being confused as to whether they are talking around bonds or around intermolecular forces, specifically when the intermolecular forces in the noble gases room discussed. Thus you should shot and use words bond or bonding to describe the interatomic forces (the points holding the atoms together) and intermolecular forces for the things holding the molecule together. Getting learners to label the bonds and also intermolecular forces on diagrams of molecule will assist them to involved grips v the terminology.

You are watching: Decide which intermolecular forces act between the molecules of each compound in the table below.

This object comes appropriate after learners have learnt about electronegativity and also polarity therefore this is a good chapter come reinforce those concepts and aid learners see the use of electronegativity and also polarity. Learners have to be really comfortable v determining the polarity and also shape that molecules as this will aid them recognize the kinds of intermolecular pressures that occur.

A short overview the the topics extended in this chapter follows.

What space intermolecular and how do they differ from binding (interatomic forces).

This object introduces learner to the concept of intermolecular forces. The five different types of intermolecular forces are introduced. Intermolecular pressures are one of the key reason that issue exists in various states (solids, liquids and gases). Gases have no intermolecular forces in between particles. For this reason you must either pick examples that are all in the liquid or hard state at room temperature (this temperature is the most acquainted to learner) or repeat learners the although the instances may it is in gases, we can consider the intermolecular forces between gases when they room cooled down and become liquids. The is additionally important to take treatment if you use the noble gases to define induced dipole forces because technically these pressures are not in between molecules and also so might confuse learners.

Physical state and density.

Although this is noted as a separate suggest in CAPs, in this publication it has actually been functioned into the explanation that intermolecular forces. Solids have the the strongest intermolecular forces between molecules and also it is these forces which organize the molecules in a strict shape. In a fluid the intermolecular forces are repeatedly breaking and also reforming together the molecule move and slide end each other.

Particle kinetic energy and temperature.

This subject is also noted as a separate suggest in CAPs and also is functioned into the explanation that intermolecular forces. This topic links ago to grade \(\text10\) (states of matter and also the kinetic molecule theory) and additionally links to chapter \(\text7\) (ideal gases).

The chemistry of water.

The second half of this chapter is dedicated to understanding an ext about water. Water is a distinctive liquid in countless aspects. Some of these properties of water are defined in this part of the text. The is essential to connect this into intermolecular forces and in certain the strong hydrogen bond that room found between water molecules.

All about us us see issue in different phases. The air us breathe is a gas, if the water you drink is a liquid and the chair you are sitting on is a solid. In this chapter we space going to look at one of the factors that matter exists as solids and also liquids.

In the ahead chapter, we discussed the various forces the exist between atoms (interatomic forces). When atoms are joined to one another they type molecules, and also these molecules consequently have forces that tie them together. These pressures are well-known as intermolecular forces.

Intermolecular forces allow us to recognize which building material are most likely to dissolve in which other substances and also what the melting and also boiling points of building material are. There is no intermolecular forces holding molecules with each other we would certainly not exist.

Note that us will usage the hatchet molecule transparent this chapter as the compounds we room looking at space all covalently bonded and also do no exist as large networks (recall native grade \(\text10\) the there are three types of bonding: metallic, ionic and covalent). Sometimes you will view the term basic molecule. This is a covalent molecule structure.


Interatomic (between atoms) pressures are additionally known as intramolecular (within molecules) forces. You have the right to remember this by reasoning of international which way between nations.

4.1 Intermolecular and interatomic forces (ESBMM)

Intermolecular pressures

Intermolecular pressures are forces that act between molecules.

You will additionally recall indigenous the previous chapter, that us can explain molecules together being either polar or non-polar. A polar molecule is one in which over there is a difference in electronegativity in between the atom in the molecule, such that the shared electron pair spends more time close come the atom the attracts it more strongly. The an outcome is that one finish of the molecule will have a slightly optimistic charge (\(δ^+\)), and also the other finish will have a slightly an adverse charge (\(δ^-\)). The molecule is stated to it is in a dipole.

A dipole molecule is a molecule that has actually two (di) poles. One end of the molecule is contempt positive and the other is contempt negative. We have the right to depict this an extremely simply together an oval through one hopeful side and one negative. In reality however, the molecules do not look favor this, they look more like the images in number 4.1.

number 4.1: A various representation that dipole molecules. The red an ar is slightly negative, and the blue an ar is contempt positive.

It is vital to remember the just because the bonds within a molecule room polar, the molecule itself may not have to be polar. The form of the molecule might also influence its polarity. A couple of examples are displayed in Table 4.1 to refresh your memory. Keep in mind that us have displayed tetrahedral molecules with all the terminal atom at \(\text90\)\(\text°\) come each various other (i.e. Flat or 2-dimensional), but the shape is yes, really 3-dimensional.


Chemical formula

Bond between atoms

Shape that molecule

Polarity of molecule



Non-polar covalent



Hydrogen chloride


Polar covalent



Carbon tetrafluoride


Polar covalent





Polar covalent



Types of intermolecular forces (ESBMN)

It is vital to have the ability to recognise whether the molecules in a substance space polar or non-polar due to the fact that this will determine what kind of intermolecular pressures there are. This is important in explaining the nature of the substance.

Ion-induced-dipole forces

Similar to ion-dipole pressures these pressures exist between ions and non-polar molecules. The ion root cause a dipole in the non-polar molecule leading to a weak, short lived pressure which holds the compound together.

These pressures are found in haemoglobin (the molecule the carries oxygen approximately your body). Haemoglobin has actually \(\textFe^2+\) ions. Oxygen (\(\textO_2\)) is attracted to these ions by ion-induced dipole forces.

Induced dipole forces

These intermolecular pressures are likewise sometimes dubbed “London forces” or “momentary dipole” pressures or “dispersion” forces.

We know that while carbon dioxide is a non-polar molecule, we have the right to still frozen it (and us can likewise freeze all other non-polar substances). This tells us that there need to be some kind of attractive force in these kinds of molecule (molecules can only it is in solids or liquids if there are attractive forces pulling castle together). This force is well-known as one induced dipole force.

In non-polar molecule the digital charge is normally evenly distributed yet it is feasible that in ~ a particular moment in time, the electrons might not it is in evenly spread (remember the the electrons are constantly moving in your orbitals). The molecule will have a temporary dipole. In other words, each finish of the molecules has a slim charge, either positive or negative. Once this happens, molecules that are next to each other attract each other really weakly. These pressures are found in the halogens (e.g. \(\textF_2\) and also \(\textI_2\)) and also in various other non-polar molecules such together carbon dioxide and also carbon tetrachloride.

All covalent molecules have induced dipole forces. Because that non-polar covalent molecules these forces are the just intermolecular forces. Because that polar covalent molecules, dipole-dipole pressures are uncovered in enhancement to the induced dipole forces.

When the noble gases condense, the intermolecular forces that organize the fluid together space induced dipole forces.

Dipole-induced-dipole forces

This type of pressure occurs when a molecule through a dipole cause a dipole in a non-polar molecule. That is similar to one ion-induced dipole force. An instance of this form of pressure is chloroform (\(\textCHCl_3\)) in carbon tetrachloride (\(\textCCl_4\)).

The following image mirrors the varieties of intermolecular forces and also the kinds of compounds that bring about those forces.

figure 4.4: The species of intermolecular forces. The boxes represent the kind of link while the lines represent the form of force.

The critical three forces (dipole-dipole forces, dipole-induced dipole forces and also induced dipole forces) room sometimes jointly known together van der Waals" forces. Us will currently look in ~ a special case of dipole-dipole pressures in more detail.

Hydrogen bonds

As the surname implies, this type of intermolecular bond entails a hydrogen atom. When a molecule consists of a hydrogen atom covalently bonded to a highly electronegative atom (\(\textO\), \(\textN\) or \(\textF\)) this form of intermolecular force can occur. The very electronegative atom ~ above one molecule attractive the hydrogen atom ~ above a surrounding molecule.

Water molecules for example, are hosted together by hydrogen bonds in between the hydrogen atom the one molecule and the oxygen atom of an additional (fig:hydrogen bonds). Hydrogen bonds room a reasonably strong intermolecular force and are stronger than various other dipole-dipole forces. The is crucial to note however, that hydrogen bonds are weaker than the covalent and ionic bonds the exist in between atoms.

Do no confuse hydrogen bonds with actual chemical bonds. Hydrogen bonding is an instance of a case where a scientist called something believing the to be one thing as soon as in reality it to be another. In this situation the stamin of the hydrogen binding misled scientists into thinking this was actually a chemical bond, when it is really just an intermolecular force.

figure 4.5: 2 representations reflecting the hydrogen bonds between water molecules: space-filling model and also structural formula.

The difference in between intermolecular and also interatomic pressures (ESBMP)

It is necessary to realise the there is a difference between the types of interactions that happen in molecules and also the varieties that occur in between molecules. In the previous chapter we focused on the interactions in between atoms. These are recognized as interatomic pressures or chemistry bonds. We likewise studied covalent molecules in much more detail.

Remember the a covalent bond has an electronegativity distinction of much less than \(\text2,1\). Covalent molecules have actually covalent bonds in between their atoms. Valve der Waals" pressures only happen in covalent molecules. Us can present the interatomic and intermolecular forces in between covalent compound diagrammatically or in words. Intermolecular forces occur in between molecules and do not involve individual atoms. Interatomic forces are the forces that hold the the atom in molecule together. Figure 4.5 mirrors this.

Interatomic forces Intermolecular forces
Atoms or molecules Forces in between atoms Forces in between molecules
Strength of forces Strong forces Relatively weak forces
Distance in between atoms or molecules Very short distances Larger distances than bonds

The worked examples on intermolecular pressures condense a lot of of details into the very first step. You may need to repeat learners just how to recognize molecular polarity. To do this, you can use the worked instances in atom combinations together a quick refresher of the topic. In tests and exams learners require to be able to quickly recognize a polar or non-polar molecule and so should be really comfortable with this skill.

Worked instance 1: Intermolecular forces

Think around what girlfriend know around the molecule.

Carbon has actually an electronegativity the \(\text2,5\). Chlorine has an electronegativity that \(\text3,0\). The electronegativity difference between carbon and chlorine is \(\text1,0\) (recall the ar on electronegativity in the vault chapter). We additionally know that the bond in between carbon and chlorine is polar.

Also from the previous thing we recognize that carbon tetrachloride is a tetrahedral molecule (recall molecular shape). Carbon tetrachloride is symmetrical and so is non-polar overall.

Now decision which case it is

Carbon tetrachloride is non-polar and also so the just kind of force that can exist is induced dipole.

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Think around what you know around the molecules

Sodium chloride is ionic. (the electronegativity difference is \(\text2,1\)). Water has polar bond (the electronegativity difference is \(\text1,4\)). Water is a polar molecule (its molecular shape is bent or angular).

Now decision which instance it is

This is an ionic substance communicating with a polar substance. This communication is an ion-dipole force.