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.
Examples of catenation
The most common examples of catenation or catenation-exhibiting elements are:
Carbon has a unique nature in that it is able to catenate and form millions of organic compounds. Carbon shows the property of catenation to the maximum extent. Apart from carbon sulphur, silicon etc also show this property to some extent.
Carbon may form bonds with other atoms of carbon. This carbon property is known as catenation, carbon can form a long chain due to catenation; thus bonding with other carbon atoms. By catenation, carbon can produce single, double and triple bonds.
Examples are sulphur show catenation up to eight atoms in the formation of S8 molecules of sulphur. The other examples of sulphur catenation are: H2S2, H2S3, H2S4.