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Diphosphorus tetraiodide

Experiment Molecular Modeling and Lewis Structures

Background Structure and bonding

The structure and molecular bonding of molecules is an important factor in the course of chemical reactions. Both diamond and graphite are variants of the carbon atom, and while both substances are exclusively composed of carbon, it is the difference in the structure and molecular bonding of the carbon atoms that result in the two extraordinarily different minerals. Different structural modifications of an element are referred to as allotropes. See Figure 1.

Figure 1. Allotropes of the element carbon. A. Crystalline structure of diamond. B. Crystalline structure of graphite. © Michael Ströck

Many properties and characteristics are involved in chemical bonding and molecular structure and function including bond strength, polarity, and atomic orbitals. The focus of this lab is the localized electron model. This model assumes that a molecule is bonded through the sharing of valence electron pairs. The localized electron model also highlights valence electron arrangement, Lewis structures, and molecular shape.