The secret of a new type of chemical bond: it turned out to be surprisingly strong

Scientists have discovered a new type of chemical bond

The strength of the new chemical bond discovered by the scientists at the Planck Institute in Germany, has been called into question. But in fact it is: it is much stronger than you might imagine. The new type of bond demonstrates a break between the strong covalent bonds that form bonded molecules and the weak hydrogen bonds that form between molecules. The binding of metals and non-metals to form salts is regulated by ions.

Strong covalent bonds hold molecules together, including carbon dioxide and water. Weak hydrogen bonds form due to the electrostatic attraction between hydrogen and a negatively charged atom. In that case, water molecules are attracted to each other and form droplets or crystalline ice.


Hydrogen, covalent and ionic bonds are considered stable. They last for long periods and have noticeable effects. But the scientists found that any chemical reaction is capable of forming or breaking chemical bonds. In this process, complex periods of intermediate states arise. Their lifetime is only a few fractions of a second and therefore it is difficult to observe them.

A new research allowed scientists to preserve these intermediate states. In the course of their study, a hydrogen bond with the strength of a covalent bond was discovered. It connects atoms into a structure that resembles a molecule. During the experiments, hydrogen fluoride was dissolved in water.

The scientists observed the interactions of hydrogen and fluorine atoms: fluorine atoms are attracted to hydrogen atoms due to an imbalance of positive and negative charges on their surfaces.


This hydrogen bond is a classic structure. In this case, each volume of hydrogen is sandwiched between two fluorine atoms, forming a conditional sandwich. But the bond of each such formation has increased strength, it is much higher than the traditional hydrogen bond, which is easily broken.

The mechanism of the new connection turned out to be electrostatic. It means that it includes the differences in positive and negative charge that determine hydrogen bonds.