O2 is the molecular formula of oxygen, a renowned diatomic molecule responsible because that the presence of flora and also fauna top top the earth. As we understand the nascent oxygen (O) is a highly unstable atom, it exist in the dual atom state.

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The balance that oxygen is maintained due to the fact that it is exhaled by plants and also inhaled by person beings and animals. Moreover, oxygen is also crucial part of assorted atmospheric cycles on the earth.

In enhancement to this, we also know O2 is the main component the the ozone layer i beg your pardon is present in the stratosphere and protects the planet from harmful radiations of the sun.

hν + O2 —> 2O

O2 + O. —> O3

O3 + O. —> 2O2

O3 + hν —-> O2 + O.

hν = solar radiation photolyzing oxygen molecule

Oxygen is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas the is commonly purified with the assist of fractional distillation the the liquefied air. Also, oxygen in liquid and also solid kind is pale blue in shade which changes to orange, black, or red at short temperature and an extremely high pressure.

Moreover, the oxygen molecule never catches fire and is no flammable gift a solid oxidizer. Together it is such critical molecule, we should study its molecular structure and bonding behavior. Through this let’s answer the question:

So, Is O2 ionic or covalent? O2 is a covalent molecule because each oxygen atom requirements two valence electrons to finish its octet. To accomplish this need, each oxygen atom shares two of that is electrons with the other oxygen creating a strong oxygen-oxygen double shared covalent bond.

What space ionic and also covalent bonds?

Ionic bond are created when the valence electrons are donated by one atom come another. Whereas, covalent binding are formed when the valence electrons room shared between the atom in bespeak to finish the octet and accomplish a steady condition.

Here, it is necessary to recognize that just a mutual covalent shortcut is formed in the molecule having two comparable atoms.

The covalent link is directional and also present in every three claims of issue – solid, liquid, and also gas. As result of this, molecules having actually covalent bonds show properties of hybridization, molecular orbital diagram, and also polarity.

On the various other hand, ionic bonds space non-directional because that which the properties displayed by covalent molecules carry out not hold any kind of validity. This is a significant reason why ionic bonding is only applicable to the solid-state.

Moreover, by this reality it is presumable that molecules v ionic bonds have actually a high melting allude whereas those through covalent bonds have a low melting point.

Why oxygen is a covalent molecule?

The answer to this concern lies in the Lewis framework of the oxygen. To attract it, we need to understand its electronic configuration first. The atomic number of the oxygen is 8 by which its electronic configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p4.

As we understand the ns shell demands 6 valence electrons to finish its shell, one oxygen atom requirements two valence electrons in total.

Here, that is crucial to recognize that the lesser the variety of valence electron required, the higher will it is in the tendency to accept them, and also vice versa.

In irradiate of the same, every oxygen atom will try to expropriate the valence electrons because of which two oxygen atoms will certainly share the valence electrons to complete their octet.

From the aforementioned Lewis structure, the is clear the oxygen atoms are attached come one another with the assist of a mutual covalent bond.


Moreover, the twin bond forming between two oxygen atoms is composed of one sigma bond and one pi bond giving the stability to the oxygen molecule.

Here, the is an important to know that the oxygen molecule has actually a short melting point which walk not influence the sigma covalent bond yet the pi covalent bond.


Does the oxygen molecule have a polar or nonpolar covalent bond?

Polar covalent bonds room those whereby the difference in electronegativity values exists. This difference creates an all at once net dipole minute on the molecule whereby separation of electric charges occurs, making two separates positively and negatively charged ends.

Whereas, on the various other hand, nonpolar molecule are exactly opposite where no distinction in electronegativity values exists creating the net dipole minute zero.

With this, no separation of electrical charges occurs and also there exist the least pressure of attraction between the atom in comparison to the polar molecules.

By the abovementioned definition, the oxygen molecule is nonpolar in nature since both the molecules within the atom room the same. This way there is no difference in electronegativity values making the molecule nonpolar.

What factors influence covalent bonds?

The covalent link is formed when the valence electrons are shared in between the atoms mutually, in order to kind a molecule. There are various components that influence the development of the covalent bond in between the atoms.

These can be electron affinity, atomic size, ionization energy, and also electronegativity.

1. Electron affinity is basically the change in power when one atom profit a valence electron. The higher the electron affinity, the higher will it is in the affinity that the atom to expropriate the electrons.

This is the reason why oxygen is a strong oxidizing agent together it accepts the valence electrons and reduces the other atom.

2. Ionization energy is one more property that is responsible for the oxygen forming a covalent bond. This home is identified by the minimum lot of power needed to wake up the most accessible valence electrons in order to initiate the link formation.

To create a solid covalent bond, both the participating atoms need to have actually high ionization power which is the instance of the oxygen atom.

3. In alignment v this, atomic size is one more property the promotes the formation of a solid covalent bond. When it involves forming covalent bonds in between the 2 atoms, we need to discover the covalent radius to number out how far the participating valence electron of both the atoms, are from one another.

In the instance of creating a covalent radius because that each atom, it will certainly be half of the distance between the 2 nuclei. It is so since the equal number of valence electrons space participating and present in ~ an equal street from one another in addition to the equal pressure of attraction ~ above the other atom.

With this, the smaller the size of an atom, the less reactive it will be and also will it is in closer to the positively charged nucleus.

Due to this, it becomes hard for the valence electron to easily bond with other electrons preferring common format, that is, covalent bond.

4. Last but not least, comes electronegativity i m sorry is the capacity of an atom to tempt shared pair that valence electrons in the direction of itself.

By definition, the is clear that electronegativity is directly proportional to the atomic size. In stimulate to kind a covalent bond, the electronegativity value of the participating atoms must be high when the difference must be short which will make the molecule nonpolar.

Are every diatomic molecule covalently bonded?

The diatomic molecules deserve to be homonuclear or heteronuclear and will it is in covalently bonded. In the situation of homonuclear molecules, the valence electrons will be same shared having zero electronegativity difference, creating a nonpolar covalent bond.

Whereas in the instance of heteronuclear molecules, there will be part electronegativity difference, for this reason they will kind a polar covalent bond.

Here, some people can think salt chloride (NaCl) gift a diatomic molecule is not covalently bonded. The is vital to understand that salt chloride is formed since of ionization.

In general, ionic bonds carry out not happen in the diatomic molecules as it is a web of ions creating the decision lattice. In the situation of sodium chloride, each ion of that is extended by six an ext ions which room oppositely charged developing the crystal lattice.


The oxygen molecule is covalently bonded where an equal variety of valence electron are mutual by both the atoms. It have the right to be studied very well with the aid of the Lewis structure that says a twin covalent bond exists in between the oxygen atoms. The sigma bond of this dual bond is responsible for offering a solid stable structure to the molecule.

Whereas, the weak or incongruent behavior is greatly showed because of the bonding done by the pi bond. As a solitary oxygen atom requirements two valence electrons to finish its octet, that is easier for the atom come donate than accept.

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This is the factor why sharing of valence electron occurs between the participating two oxygen atoms to create one oxygen molecule.