Difference Between Bonding And Antibonding Molecular Orbitals

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The Difference

  1. Antibonding molecular orbitals can be described as orbitals containing electrons outside the region between two atomic nuclei. In contrast, bonding molecular orbitals can be described as type of molecular orbitals that take part in the formation of a chemical bond.
  2. Antibonding molecular orbitals are formed by out-of-phase combination of atomic orbitals. The combination decreases the electron density in the region between the nuclei of the atoms and increases in the region away from the inter-nuclear region. On the other hand, bonding molecular orbitals are formed by in-phase combination of atomic orbitals. The combination increases the electron density in the region between the nuclei of bonded atoms.
  3. Antibonding molecular orbitals do not contribute to the shape of the molecule whereas bonding molecular directly to the shape of the molecule.
  4. Antibonding molecular orbitals are formed when the lobes of the combining orbitals have opposite sign whereas bonding orbitals are formed when the lobes of the combining orbitals have the same sign.
  5. The electron density in antibonding molecular orbitals is low whereas the electron density in bonding molecular orbitals is higher.
  6. The energy of antibonding molecular orbitals is comparatively higher when compared to the energy of bonding molecular orbitals.
  7. Antibonding molecular orbitals are formed by the subtractive effect of the atomic orbitals whereas the bonding molecular orbitals are formed by the additive effect of atomic orbitals.
  8. Antibonding molecular orbitals are less stable than both bonding molecular orbitals and parent atomic orbitals. On the other hand, bonding molecular orbitals are more stable than both antibonding molecular orbitals and parent atomic orbitals.
  9. The electrons in antibonding molecular orbitals do not contribute to the formation of the bond whereas the electrons in bonding molecular orbitals contribute to the formation of a bond.
  10. The geometry of a molecule does not depend on the spartial arrangement of antibonding molecular orbitals. On the contrary, the geometry of a molecule is represented by the spatial arrangement of bonding molecular orbitals.
  11. The antibonding molecular orbitals are represented using an asterisk mark (*) while the bonding molecular orbitals are represented without using an asterisk (*).
  12. When electrons are filled into antibonding molecular orbitals, it destabilizes the bond between two atoms. On the contrary, when electrons are first filled to the bonding molecular orbitals, they stabilize the molecule because they associate less energy than the electron in the parent atom.

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