Difference Between Sigma (σ) and Pi (π) Bond – Shape of Molecules

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ChemistryReference Notes | Science
Difference Between Sigma (σ) and Pi (π) Bond
Unit: Chemical Bonding and Shape of Molecules
Chemistry Class 12

Sigma (σ) bond: A covalent bond formed due to the overlapping of the orbitals of two atoms along the internuclear axis (orbital axis) is called sigma (σ) bond.

Pi (π) bond: A covalent bond formed by sideways (lateral) overlapping of two half-filled p-orbitals is called pi (π-bond).

Difference Between Sigma (σ) and Pi (π) Bond:

Sigma (σ) BondPi (π) Bond
1. It is formed by the end on end (head on) overlap of two s or one s and one p-orbital along their internuclear axis.1. It is formed by the sideway overlapping of two p-orbitals and not obtained from hybrid orbitals.
2. It determines the direction and extent of internuclear distance.2. It has no primary effect on the direction of bond but shortens the internuclear distance.
3.  It is a strong bond due to greater extent of internuclear distance.3. It is weak bond due to poor overlap of orbitals. It is formed when a σ-bond already exists between atoms.
4. The molecular σ-orbital consists of a single electron cloud symmetrically around the internuclear axis.4. The molecular π-orbital consists of two electrons clouds, one above and one below the plane of bonded atoms.
5. There can be free rotation of atoms around the sigma bond.5. As the electron cloud overlap is above and below the plane of atoms free rotation is not possible around the π-bond.

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