Intermolecular Forces Homework Help - K-12 Grade Level, College Level Chemistry

Introduction to Intermolecular force

Intermolecular forces are forces of attraction or repulsion which act between neighbouring particles (atoms, molecules or ions). They are the weak compared to intermolecular forces, forces which keep a molecule together. For instance, the covalent bond present within HCl molecules is much stronger than the forces present between the neighbouring molecules, which exist when molecules are sufficiently close to each other.

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There are four kinds of attractive intermolecular forces:

1.      Dipole-dipole forces

2.      Ion-dipole forces

3.      Dipole-induced dipole forces or Debye forces

4.      Instantaneous dipole-induced dipole forces or London dispersion forces.

London dispersion force

Otherwise known as quantum-induced instantaneous polarization or instantaneous dipole-induced dipole force, the London dispersion force is due to correlated movements of the electrons in interacting molecules. Electrons that belong to the different molecules start "fleeing" and avoiding each other at the short intermolecular distances, which is frequently defined as the formation of "instantaneous dipoles" that attract each other.

Debye (induced dipole) force

The induced dipole forces appear from the induction (also known as polarization), which is attractive interaction between a permanent multipole on one molecule with an induced (by the former di/multi-pole) multipole on another. This interaction is called the Debye force after the Peter J.W. Debye.

The example of an induction-interaction between permanent dipole and induced dipole is the interaction between the HCl and Ar. In this system, Ar experiences a dipole as its electrons are attracted (to the H side of HCl) or repelled (from the Cl side) by HCl. This type of interaction can be expected between any polar molecule and non-polar/symmetrical molecule. Induction-interaction force is far weaker than dipole-dipole interaction, but stronger than London dispersion force.

Dipole-dipole interactions

Dipole-dipole interactions are electrostatic interactions of permanent dipoles in molecules. These interactions tend to align molecules to increase the attraction (reducing potential energy). An illustration of dipole-dipole interaction can be seen in hydrogen chloride (HCl): the positive end of a polar molecule will attract the negative end of the other molecule and influence their arrangement. The Polar molecules have a net attraction between them. For example the HCl and chloroform (CHCl3)

Keesom interactions (named after Willem Hendrik Keesom) are attractive interactions of dipoles that are Boltzmann-averaged over different rotational orientations of the dipoles. Energy of a Keesom interaction depends on the inverse sixth power of the distance, not like the interaction energy of two spatially fixed dipoles, which depends on inverse third power of the distance.

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Often molecules contain dipolar groups but have no overall dipole moment. This occurs if there is symmetry within molecule that causes the dipoles to cancel each other out. This occurs in the molecules like tetrachloromethane. Note that dipole-dipole interaction between two atoms is generally zero because atoms rarely carry a permanent dipole.

Ion-dipole and ion-induced dipole forces

The Ion-dipole and ion-induced-dipole forces operate more like dipole-dipole and induced-dipole interactions but involve ions instead of only polar and non-polar molecules being involved. Ion-induced dipole and Ion-dipole forces are stronger than dipole interactions because the charge of any ion is much greater than the charge of a dipole moment. Bonding of Ion-dipole is stronger than hydrogen bonding.

Ion-dipole force consists of an ion and a polar molecule interacting. They align so that positive and negative forces are next to one another allowing for the maximum attraction.

Ion-induced dipole force consists of an ion and a non-polar molecule interacting. Such as a dipole-induced dipole force, the charge of ion causes a distortion of the electron cloud on the non-polar molecule.

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