# Is it true that a smaller value for the bond order means a more stable bond?

##### 1 Answer

No, it's actually the other way around, the larger the value of the bond order, the more stable the bond.

*Bond order* is calculated by using the number of electrons that reside in *bonding orbitals* and in *antibonding orbitals*.

The bigger the difference between how many electrons reside in bonding orbitals and how many reside in antibonding orbitals, the **higher** the bond order, and thus the stronger the bond.

Keep in mind that *triple bonds* are more stable than *double bonds*, which in turn are more stable than *single bonds*, so a higher bond order indicates greater stability.

A bond order equal to **1** implies that you have 2 more electrons located in bonding orbitals than in antibonding orbitals, which means that the atoms form a **single bond**.

A bond order of **2** implies that you have **4** more electrons in bonding orbitals than in antibonding orbitals, so the atoms will form a **double bond**.

Likewise, a bond order of **3** implies that you have **6** more electrons in bonding orbitals than in antibonding orbitals **triple bond**.

Similarly, a bond over of **1.5** is more stable than a bond order of **1**, a bond order of **2.5** is more stable than a bond order of **2**, and so on.

Check out this example of how adding/removing electrons from the oxygen molecule affects bond order and stability: