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Triple Covalent Bond

What is a Triple Covalent Bond?

A covalent bond is a type of chemical bond in which the atoms in a compound share electrons. A triple covalent bond, or merely a triple bond, involves the sharing of three pairs of electrons, i.e., six electrons. Atoms combine in order to complete their valence (outermost) shell and become stable. They bond due to strong electrostatic attraction between the bonding electrons and the nuclei of both the atoms. This type of bond is prevalent in alkynes [1-2].

Triple Covalent Bond

Properties of Double Covalent Bond

  • Takes place between two nonmetals or a nonmetal and a metalloid
  • Consists of three pairs of electrons, i.e., six electrons
  • Low bond length
  • Unstable
  • More robust than a single and double bond

Examples of Triple Covalent Bond

Here are some examples of a triple covalent bond [1-2].

1. Nitrogen (N2)

A molecule containing a triple covalent bond is nitrogen. The nitrogen molecule consists of two nitrogen (N) atoms. Each nitrogen has only five electrons and requires three more to complete its outermost shell. Therefore, the three electrons from each nitrogen bond together. By sharing six electrons, a nitrogen molecule displays a triple covalent bond.

2. Cyanide (CN)

Cyanide is an anion consisting of one carbon and one nitrogen atom. Carbon (C) has only four electrons on its outermost shell. It requires four more electrons to complete the shell. Nitrogen (N) has only five electrons and requires three more. Therefore, carbon and nitrogen will share three electrons each. The result is a sharing of six electrons and thereby forming a triple covalent bond. An extra electron on carbon makes it an anion.

3. Ethyne (C2H2)

An example of an alkyne is ethyne. Ethyne has two carbon (C) and two hydrogen (H) atoms. Carbon (C) has four valence electrons in its outermost shell. It requires four more to fill up its orbital. Hydrogen (H) has a lone electron and requires one more to complete its orbital. One hydrogen atom will combine with one carbon atom to form a single bond. Another hydrogen atom will combine with the other carbon atom forming another C-H bond. However, the two carbon atoms still have three unpaired electrons each. They will combine, and each will share the three electrons, making it a total of four shared electrons. The result is a triple bond between the two carbon atoms.

Triple Covalent Bond Examples