Question 10

Define the bond length.


Bond length is defined as the distance between the centres of the nuclei of two bonded atoms in a molecule. It represents equilibrium inter-nuclear separation distance of the bonded atoms in a molecule. The length of the bond is determined by the number of bonded electrons (the bond order). The higher the bond order, the stronger the pull between the two atoms and the shorter the bond length. Bond lengths are expressed in terms of Angstrom (10-10 m) or picometer (10-12 m) and are measured by spectroscopic X-ray diffractions and electron-diffraction techniques.

In an ionic compound, the bond length is the sum of the ionic radii of the constituting atoms (d = r+ + r-). In a covalent compound, it is the sum of their covalent radii (d = rA + rB).

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