Hydrogen bond

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A hydrogen bond is the attractive interaction of a hydrogen atom with an electronegative atom, such as nitrogen, oxygen or fluorine, that comes from another molecule or chemical group. The hydrogen must be covalently bonded to another electronegative atom to create the bond. These bonds can occur between molecules (intermolecularly), or within different parts of a single molecule (intramolecularly).[2] The hydrogen bond (5 to 30 kJ/mole) is stronger than a van der Waals interaction, but weaker than covalent or ionic bonds. This type of bond occurs in both inorganic molecules such as water and organic molecules such as DNA.

Intermolecular hydrogen bonding is responsible for the high boiling point of water (100 °C) compared to the other group 16 hydrides that have no hydrogen bonds. Intramolecular hydrogen bonding is partly responsible for the secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures of proteins and nucleic acids. It also plays an important role in the structure of polymers, both synthetic and natural.

Contents

Bonding

A hydrogen atom attached to a relatively electronegative atom is a hydrogen bond donor.[3] This electronegative atom is usually fluorine, oxygen, or nitrogen. An electronegative atom such as fluorine, oxygen, or nitrogen is a hydrogen bond acceptor, regardless of whether it is bonded to a hydrogen atom or not. An example of a hydrogen bond donor is ethanol, which has a hydrogen bonded to oxygen; an example of a hydrogen bond acceptor which does not have a hydrogen atom bonded to it is the oxygen atom on diethyl ether.

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