SAT Subject Test Chemistry
REVIEW OF MAJOR TOPICS
DOUBLE AND TRIPLE BONDS
To achieve the octet structure, which is an outer energy level resembling the noble gas configuration of eight electrons, it is necessary for some atoms to share two or even three pairs of electrons. Sharing two pairs of electrons produces a double bond. An example:
In the line formula, only the shared pair of electrons is indicated by a bond (—).
The sharing of three electron pairs results in a triple bond. An example:
It can be assumed from these structures that there is a greater electron density between the nuclei involved and hence a greater attractive force between the nuclei and the shared electrons. Experimental data verify that greater energy is required to break double bonds than single bonds, and triple bonds than double bonds. Also, since these stronger bonds tend to pull atoms closer together, the atoms joined by double and triple bonds have smaller interatomic distances and greater bond strengths, respectively.