Difference Between Sigma and Pi Bond

Studying about chemical bonds is very important in chemistry. In general, a bond is a force that keeps atoms together during their interaction. Further, chemical bonds are also classified into ionic bond, covalent bond, polar bond, and hydrogen bond. There are other types of bonds in the mentioned categories. However, here, we will be discussing about sigma bond and pi bond that originally belong to the covalent bond type.

Sigma bond is a chemical bond formed by the co-axial or linear overlapping of atomic orbitals of two atoms. Pi bond is a type of covalent bond that exists between atoms where the electrons are on top and bottom of the axis connecting the nuclei of the joined atoms. It is formed by the lateral or parallel overlapping of atomic orbitals.

Difference Between Sigma and Pi Bond

While sigma and pi bonds are used to describe some features of covalent bonds and molecules there are significant differences between the two. We will look at some of the differences between sigma and pi bond below.

Difference Between Sigma and Pi bond

Sigma Bond

Pi Bond

During sigma bond formation overlapping orbitals can be either one hybrid and one pure orbital or two pure orbitals and two hybrid orbitals.

During pi bond formation overlapping orbitals are always two unhybridized orbitals.

Sigma bond exists independently and allows free rotation.

Pi-bond always exists along with sigma bond and the rotation is restricted.

Sigma bonds are stronger bonds.

Pi bonds are usually less powerful compared to sigma bonds.

Sigma bonds are formed first when atoms interact.

Pi bonds are formed after the formation of sigma bonds.

During the bonding between two atoms,

Only one sigma bond is formed.

Here two pi bonds can exist between two atoms.

Sigma bond has cylindrical charge symmetry around the bond axis.

No symmetry exists in pi bonds.

Atoms with sigma bonds can be highly reactive.

Atoms with pi bonds are less reactive in nature.

Sigma bond can be used to determine the shape of a molecule.

Pi bond cannot be used for the same purpose.

These are some of the differences between between Sigma and Pi bond. To know more about different types of bonds and other chemistry topics you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

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