# Are pi bonds easier to break?

Jul 7, 2014

Pi bonds are easier to break than sigma bonds.

There are two reasons for this.

Overlap efficiency

The end-on overlap of orbitals to form a sigma bond is more efficient than the side-on overlap of orbitals to form a pi bond.

Distance from the nuclei

The electrons in a sigma bond are directly between the two nuclei. They are as close to the nuclei as they can get. The nuclei have a strong hold on the electrons, so it is difficult to break a sigma bond.

The electrons in a pi bond are further away from the nuclei. The nuclei have a weaker attraction to the electrons, so it is easier to break a pi bond.