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The bonding in simple homonuclear molecules such as F2, O2, and N2 is quite similar in principle, but have fundamental differences in structure that can be described easily using Valence Bond models. The three molecules are comprised of atoms that are adjacent to one another in their period, and will thus have similar size and mass. The atoms do reside in different columns of the table though, and as such will have fundamentally different characteristics such as valence electron count and bond order in their respective diatomic molecules in which the elements are found naturally.
Valence bond theory relys on the principle of overlapping of the outer valence orbitals of two atoms. The electrons involved are localized to the region between the atoms and form the chemical bond.
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1.) Oxtoby, David W. Gillis, H.P. Campion, Alan. Principles of Modern Chemistry. 6th ed. Thomson Brooks/Cole: Belmont, CA. 2008.
2.) Sharpe, Alan. Housecroft, Catherine. Inorganic Chemistry. 3rd ed. Pearson/Prentice Hall: Essex, England. 2008.
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