Chemical Bonds in Solids

  • J. C. Phillips
Part of the Treatise on Solid State Chemistry book series (TSSC, volume 1)


Most of the ideas about chemical bonds that are contained in the collective wisdom of science have been refined inductively from the great body of chemical knowledge concerning the structure, properties, and reactivities of molecules in gases. Therefore to discuss chemical bonding of atoms in solids, one begins by stressing how it differs from chemical bonding of molecules in gases. Above all, most solids are much denser than corresponding molecules. For example, in the diatomic molecule Na+ Cl each ion has one nearest neighbor, but in the Na + Cl crystal each ion has six nearest neighbors. The diatomic molecule has a dipole moment, which is important in many properties. The diatomic crystal has no permanent dipole moment. Generally speaking, the symmetry of the crystal is much higher than that of the molecule. Most solids are “three dimensional”; those solids that are composed of layers and chains of atoms exhibit many molecular characteristics, while most of what we have to say applies to chemical bonds in “three-dimensional” solids. The cases of layers, chains, and surfaces are special and are treated as such elsewhere in these volumes.


Chemical Bond Valence Electron Cohesive Energy Binary Compound Ionic Crystal 
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© Bell Telephone Laboratories, Incorporated 1921

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.Bell LaboratoriesMurray HillUSA

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