What is a hydrogen bond simple definition

A hydrogen bond is a type of chemical bond that occurs between a hydrogen atom and another highly electronegative atom. In this interaction, the hydrogen atom is covalently bonded to an electronegative atom, but it also experiences a weak attraction toward another nearby electronegative atom. This second atom may be part of the same molecule or may be separate.

What is a hydrogen bond simple definition

The main characteristic of a hydrogen bond is the significant difference in electronegativity between the hydrogen atom and the electronegative atom it interacts with. Electronegativity is the tendency of an atom to attract electrons in a chemical bond. Hydrogen, with its relatively low electronegativity, develops a partial positive charge, while more electronegative atoms, such as oxygen, nitrogen, or fluorine, carry a partial negative charge.

The most common example of a hydrogen bond occurs between a hydrogen atom bound to an oxygen atom (e.g. water, H₂O) and another oxygen, nitrogen, or fluorine atom in a neighboring molecule or part of the same molecule. The partial positive charge on the hydrogen attracts the partial negative charge on the electronegative atom, causing a weak but important electrostatic interaction.

Hydrogen bonds play an important role in the properties of many substances, affecting the structure, behavior, and properties of molecules. They contribute to the unique characteristics of water, help stabilize the structure of biological molecules such as proteins and DNA, and influence the properties of various materials in chemistry and biology. Despite being weaker than covalent or ionic bonds, hydrogen bonds are important for maintaining the stability and functionality of many important substances in the natural world.