What is the difference between the different types of IMF's? Particularly ionic, dipole-dipole, hydrogen bonds, and LDF's. Particularly ionic, dipole-dipole, hydrogen bonds, and LDF's. 

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A comparative account of different intermolecular forces on several aspects is given below:


1. Ionic

2. Hydrogen bonds

3. Dipole-dipole

4. London dispersion forces

Relative strength

1. Highest

2. High, 1/10th of a covalent bond

3. weak

4. weakest

Directional nature of attractive force

1. Omnidirectional

2. directional

3. directional

4. Non-directional

Nature of electronic involvement /transfer

1. Complete transfer ofelectron from one ion to other

2. Partial transfer, then spreading through the intervening hydrogen atom

3. Partial transfer

4. Momentary 'dispersive' spilling of electrons


1. The bonding in abnormally hard and high melting ionic solids e.g. NaCl, CaCO3 etc. can be explained on the basis of strong electrostatic attractive forces between closely packed and oppositely charged ions

2. The anomalously high boiling points of the hydrides NH3, H2O and HF, compared with the other hydrides in groups 15, 16 and 17, are explained by the presence of hydrogen bonds

3. Propanone (CH3COCH3) and butane (CH3CH2CH2CH3) both have molar masses of 58 g mol–1. The boiling point of propanone, however, is 56°C, whereas that of butane is 0°C.

4. Increase in boiling point of the halogens down the group, liquefaction of inert gases at low temperatures can be conceived by LDF only. 

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