Overlap of Atomic Orbitals is required to form Molecular Orbitals
Example 2: Symmetry Requirements
In the interactive display below, the 3s orbital for the left atom and the 3py orbital for the right atom are shown. Use the controls to move the orbitals close to each other and carefully observe the overlap of the two orbitals.
In this example, overlap occurs in two regions.
The symmetry of the two orbitals is such that the degree of constructive interaction in the lower region is exactly cancelled by the destructive interaction in the upper region. Consequently, there is no net interaction between the 3s and 3py orbitals and the orbitals, in this example, are nonbonding.
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