Interactive Molecular Orbitals


The majority of Introductory Chemistry texts provide students with an adequate introduction to the visual aspects of the molecular orbital model for homonuclear diatomic molecules. The treatment of heteronuclear diatomic and polyatomic molecules is less uniform. Heteronuclear diatomics, when mentioned, are invariably treated as being derived from homonuclear diatomics. While the atomic orbital energy level differences in heteronuclear diatomics is sometimes pictured, the consequences of those differences for the resultant molecular orbitals are rarely discussed. The discussion of polyatomic molecular orbitals in these texts is limited to showing that parallel p-orbitals produce delocalized pi molecular orbitals. The molecules typically mentioned in this context are benzene, nitrate ion and carbonate ion. However, It is rarely pointed out that the six p-orbitals in benzene would form 6 pi molecular orbitals, and that only one of these orbitals would look like the picture in the text.These interactive modules are designed to clarify this subject.
Contents
Interactive Molecular Orbitals   
(Instructional Strategy, Interactive Simulation (1))
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