Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

Web Resources

Georgia Southern - Intermolecular Forces
Good clear discussion which develops the concept of intermolecular forces in the context of experimental observations of physical properties.

  click if a link is broken

Special points of emphasis

The Chemical Bond

Intermolecular Forces

Functional Groups in Organic Chemistry

Intermolecular forces are electrostatic interactions that operate between molecules. They are of primarilly three types: dipole-dipole, hydrogen bonding, and Van der Waals (or London disperson forces). The type of intermolecular force a molecule exert depends on the electronegativity difference between its bonded atoms and its molecular geometry. Polar covalent bonds make it possible for a molecule to engage in dipole-dipole interactions.

Furthermore, in the special case where a hydrogen atom is covalently bonded to a highly electronegative atom such as nitrogen or oxygen, the type of intermolecular force that results is called hydrogen bonding. Because the hydrogen end is a bare proton that can partially share electrons from the negative pole of the adjacent molecule, hydrogen bonds are an order of magnitude stronger than ordinary dipole-dipole interactions. Lastly, nonpolar molecules interact by London dispersion forces, which are weaker than dipole-dipole interactions or hydrogen bonds.

It is especially essential when you go into the MCAT to have good sense of the types of intermolecular forces exerted by the organic functional groups. Intermolecular force is a major conceptual foundation for understanding many phenomena including the physical properties and solution properties of substances.

The WikiPremed MCAT Course is a free comprehensive course in the undergraduate level general sciences. Undergraduate level physics, chemistry, organic chemistry and biology are presented by this course as a unified whole within a spiraling curriculum.

Please read our policies on privacy and shipping & returns.  Contact Us.
MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which does not endorse the WikiPremed Course.

Creative Commons License
The work of WikiPremed is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License. There are elements of work here, such as a subset of the images in the archive from WikiPedia, that originated as GNU General Public License works, so take care to follow the unique stipulations of that license in printed reproductions. You can use the resources here for commercial or non-commercial purposes, but please give attribution and a link to the production credits and edit history of the resource. For the works here which began as my individual work, please attribute "John Wetzel, an author at".