What are Intramolecular Forces
Intramolecular forces, also known as intramolecular interaction, are the forces that arise within a molecule. It is the force responsible for holding the atoms together in a molecule. Unlike intermolecular forces, which are between molecules, intramolecular forces occur between the atoms in a molecule. The conductivity and solubility of substances in the presence of solvents and the physical properties of metals depend on the intramolecular forces.
A chemical bond is an intramolecular force. It is the attractive force that keeps the atoms in a molecule together, making the compound stable. For example, water (H2O) has two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom by single covalent bonds.
Types of Intramolecular Forces
The following three forces are considered intramolecular.
1. Ionic Bond: It is due to the attraction between ions. Ions are formed when an atom loses or gains electrons. The ionic bond is formed between a metal and nonmetal, where the metal loses electrons, and the nonmetal gains them.
Examples: Sodium chloride (NaCl), potassium iodide (KI), and magnesium oxide (MgO)
2. Covalent Bond: It is due to sharing of electrons between two atoms. Atoms share their outermost or valence electrons to fulfill the octet rule and form bonds. Such a type of bonding occurs between two nonmetals. The covalent bond is the strongest of all intramolecular forces and the most common form of chemical bond in living organisms.
Examples: Water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and ammonia (NH3)
3. Metallic Bond: It is a force that holds atoms together in a metal. The outermost electron shells (orbitals) of each metal atom overlap with many neighboring atoms. As a result, the valence electrons move freely from one atom to another, which results in an attraction between the cloud of electrons and the positively charged nuclei.
Examples: Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), and Gold (Au)