Catenation is the ability of an atom to form bonds with other atoms of the same element. It is exhibited by both carbon and silicon. Compare the ability of catenation of the two elements. Give reasons.


Catenation can be defined as the self-linking of atoms of an element to form chains and rings. This definition can be extended to include the formation of layers like two-dimensional catenation and space lattices like three-dimensional catenation.

The most common examples of catenation or elements that exhibit catenation are:

  • Carbon
  • Silicon
  • Sulfur
  • Boron

Catenation is shown by both Silicon and Carbon. Silicon bonds are less stable and reactive whereas bonds formed by Carbon bonds are very strong hence carbon shows better catenation than Silicon.

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