What is a pi bond?


Quick Answer

A pi bond is a chemical bond shared between the outer p orbitals of two atoms. This is a weak covalent bond, and it is perpendicular to the stronger sigma bonds.

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Full Answer

Although the pi bond is generally weaker than the sigma bond because of the parallel orientation of the former, a combination of pi and sigma bonds is sturdier than either bond is separately, such as in ethene or ethyne. Pi bonds do not need sigma bonds to be present, as there are atoms that consist of only pi bonds, but these tend to be limited to transition metals as the sigma bond is typically more energetically favorable, particularly in organic chemistry.

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