• Question: Why do smaller have stronger intermolecular attraction than larger molecules?

    Asked by chardo to Jo, Mark, Tim on 24 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Joanna Buckley

      Joanna Buckley answered on 24 Jun 2010:


      Afternoon Chardo 🙂 Yey… more chemistry!

      It doesn’t really matter about the size is of the molecule but more about what elements it contains. Hydrogen bonding is very strong and occurs, for example between water molecules. The hydrogen forms an invisible bond to a nearby oxygen.

      The two Hs and one O (in a water molecule) are quite small but then so is hydrogen chloride (HCl) which exhibits something called a dipole-dipole interaction. The chlorine is not as electronegative as oxygen so and this type of bonding isn’t as strong.

      So, yeah, generally it’s more dependent on the atoms in your molecules rather than the size. Hope that helps 🙂

    • Photo: Tim Craggs

      Tim Craggs answered on 24 Jun 2010:


      Hi Chardo,

      I am not sure I totally understand your question. Can you elaborate on it for me?

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