# What is a peroxide linkage?

Jan 2, 2016

A peroxide linkage is simply a $O - O$ bond.

#### Explanation:

Hydrogen peroxide is simply $H - O - O - H$, ${H}_{2} {O}_{2}$.

The oxygen-oxygen bond is quite weak, and the bond can homolyze as shown:

${H}_{2} {O}_{2} \rightarrow 2 H O \cdot$

Given our definition of oxidation numbers, the oxidation number of $O$ in peroxide is necessarily $- I$.

The hydroxyl radical $H O \cdot$ is neutral and is very reactive.