# Why are pi bonds more reactive?

Aug 15, 2016

π bonds are more reactive than σ bonds because their electrons are not held as tightly by the nuclei.

#### Explanation:

σ bonds are formed by the end-on overlap of orbitals, so the electrons are on a line joining the two nuclei.

They are so strongly attracted to the nuclei that other reactants have difficulty in removing them.

σ bonds are not very reactive.

(From assets.openstudy.com)

π bonds are formed by the side-on overlap of $p$ orbitals, so the electrons are off-to-the-side of the line joining the nuclei.

On average, the electrons are further away from the nuclei, so they are not held as tightly.

Other reactants can more easily attack these electrons, so π electrons are more reactive than σ bonds.