What are intermolecular interactions?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Intermolecular interactions occur between two or more molecules or ions in each state of matter (solid, liquid, gas).

Be cautious not to confuse intramolecular interactions with intermolecular interactions. Intramolecular interactions occur between atoms in a molecule.

Intermolecular interactions can vary from strong electrical attractions and repulsions of ions to very weak dispersion forces. Here's a list of intermolecular interactions in order of decreasing strength:




ion- induced dipole

dipole - induced dipole

dispersion forces

If intermolecular interactions did not exist then liquids and solids would only form at unbelievably low temperatures.

Please explore the links below for more detailed descriptions and diagrams.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial