Bond Order Formula

What is Bond order?

The bond order shows the number of chemical bonds present between a pair of atoms. For instance, the bond order of diatomic nitrogen N≡N is 3 and bond order between the carbon atoms in H-H≡C-H is also three. The bond order describes the stability of the bond. The molecular orbital provides an easy understanding of the concept of the bond order of a chemical bond. It quantifies the degree of covalent bonds between the atoms.

 How to calculate Bond order?

The Bond Order Formula can be defined as half of the difference between the number of electrons in bonding orbitals and antibonding orbitals.  

\(\begin{array}{l}\text{Bond order} = \frac{1}{2}[N_b – N_a]\end{array} \)


Nb is the number of bonding electrons

Na is the number of antibonding electrons

Solved Example


Step 1. Write the electron configuration of C2 molecule.

Electronic configuration of C= (σ2s)2  (σ*2s)2 n(2px)2 n(2py)2

Step 2. From the above electron configuration, but the values in the formula

Bond order = (Nb – Na) / 2

       =( 8 – 4 )/ 2

                   = 2


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