The interaction energy associated with London forces is inversely proportional to the sixth power of the distance between two interacting particles.
London dispersion forces are the weakest type of intermolecular bond. They exist between all atoms and molecules. London dispersion forces are caused by an uneven distribution of electrons within an atom. This results in a slightly negative (δ−) and slightly positive (δ+) charge on either side of the atom. A temporary dipole has been established.
- The strength of London dispersion forces depends on the size of the molecule or atom.
- Larger atoms and molecules have more electrons. This leads to larger dipoles.
- London dispersion forces increase the larger the atomic size.
- London dispersion forces tend to be stronger between molecules that are easily polarized and weaker between molecules that are not easily polarized.