What type of bond is most likely to be formed between two fluorine atoms?

1 Answer
Feb 20, 2016

A single covalent bond.


Atomic fluorine has 7 valence electrons; the atom would be energetically stable if it achieved an 8 electron count. Of course, fluoride ions, #F^-#, are very common in chemistry, and here the fluorine nucleus has achieved an 8 electron count.

If, however, two isolated fluorine atoms, share electron density, a single covalent bond can be formed in which 2 electrons are localized between 2 electropositive fluorine nuclei; this situation is quite properly described as a covalent bond, and elemental fluorine occurs as the bimolecular gas, #F_2#.

As an aside, fluorine is the most reactive element in the Periodic Table; much more so than oxygen gas. If you ever meet a fluorine chemist, he is likely to have an eye or a finger missing.