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How does MO theory explain bond length trends for O2 and its ions?

Are these bond lengths consistent with the bond order determined from a molecular orbital diagram?

O2+ = 112 pm

O2 = 121 pm

O2- = 128 pm

O22- = 149 pm

7 years ago


Answers : (1)


Hi Vivek,

Bond strength depends on how stretchy or stiff the bonds are (with stiffer bonds being stronger). Stretchier bonds tend to be longer bonds. Since an increase in bond order leads to stronger bonds, there is an expectation that higher bond order means shorter bonds. It's a reasonable expectation when you're comparing bonds between a particular pair of atoms, as you are.

In the table below, the bond orders are predicted from electron configurations by subtracting the number of electrons in bonding orbitals from the number of electrons in antibonding (*) orbitals, and dividing by two.

  Molecule             Electron Configuration                 Bond Order    Bond Length(pm)


7 years ago

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