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Table of bond lengths in chemical molecules
Tables show length of chemical bonds in selected molecules.

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liquids

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
water 20°CH2OO-H : 95.75 pm
cyclohexaneC6H12C-H : 111.9 pm
C-C : 153.6 pm
bromine fluorideBF3B-F : 131.3 pm
methanolCH3OHC-H : 109.4 pm
C-O : 142.5 pm
O-H : 94.5 pm
ethanolC2H5OHC-C : 151.2 pm
C-O : 143.1 pm
O-H : 97.1 pm
C-H : 110 pm
phenolC6H5OHC-C : 139.7 pm
C-O : 136.4 pm
O-H : 95.6 pm
C-H : 108.2 pm
formic acidHCOOHC=O : 120.2 pm
C-O : 134.3 pm
C-H : 109.7 pm
O-H : 97.2 pm
phenylamineC6H5NH2C-C : 139.2 pm
N-H : 99.8 pm
C-N : 143.1 pm
decalinC10H18C-C : 153 pm
C-H : 111.3 pm
benzeneC6H6C-C : 139.9 pm
C-H : 110.1 pm
tolueneC6H5CH3C-C : 139.9 pm
C-CH3 : 152.4 pm
C-H : 111 pm
chloroformCHCl3C-H : 110 pm
C-Cl : 175.8 pm
bromoformCHBr3C-Br : 192.4 pm
C-H : 111 pm
chlorobenzeneC6H5ClC-H : 108.3 pm
C-Cl : 173.7 pm
C-C : 140 pm
2-chloroetanolClCH2CHOHC-Cl : 180.1 pm
C-H : 109.3 pm
O-H : 103.3 pm
tetrachloromethaneCCl4C-Cl : 176.7 pm
freon-11CCl3FC-Cl : 175.4 pm
freon-13CClF3C-Cl : 175.2 pm
tetrabromomethaneCBr4C-Br : 193.5 pm
acetaldehydeCH3CHOC-C : 151.5 pm
C=O : 121 pm
H-CH2 : 110.7 pm
H-CO : 112.8 pm
C-C : 151.5 pm
hydrogen peroxideH2O2O-O : 147.5 pm
phosphorus trichloridePCl3P-Cl : 203.9 pm

other inorganic

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
ammoniaNH3N-H : 101.2 pm
bromine fluorideBF3B-F : 131.3 pm
phosphorus trichloridePCl3P-Cl : 203.9 pm
phosphinePH3P-H : 142 pm
white phosphorusP4P-P : 221 pm
sulfurS2S=S : 188.92 pm
sulfurS8S-S : 207 pm
seleniumSe2Se=Se : 216.6 pm

gases

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
ammoniaNH3N-H : 101.2 pm
methaneCH4C-H : 108.7 pm
nitrogenN2N≡N : 109.77 pm
carbon dioxideCO2C=O : 116 pm
sulfur (II) oxideSOS=O : 148.11 pm
xenon) oxideXeO4Xe=O : 173.6 pm
dichlorine monoxideCl2OCl-O : 169.59 pm
hydrogen chlorideHClH-Cl : 127.46 pm
hydrogen cyanideHCNH-CN : 106.55 pm
hydrogen fluorideHFH-F : 91.69 pm
hydrogen jodideHIH-I : 160.9 pm
hydrogen sulfurideH2SH-S : 133.56 pm
methylamineCH3NH2N-H : 101 pm
C-H : 109.9 pm
C-N : 147.1 pm
ethaneC2H6C-C : 153.5 pm
C-H : 109.4 pm
buthaneC4H10C-C : 153.1 pm
C-H : 111.7 pm
cyclobuthaneC4H8C-H : 111.3 pm
C-C : 155.5 pm
trans-but-2-enCH3CHCHCH3C-C : 150.8 pm
C=C : 134.6 pm
butan-1,3-dieneCH2CHCHCH2C-C : 146.7 pm
C=C : 134.9 pm
C-H : 110.8 pm
but-2-yneCH3CCCH3C-C : 146.8 pm
C≡C : 121.4 pm
C-H : 111.6 pm
etheneC2H4C=C : 133.9 pm
C-H : 108.7 pm
acetyleneC2H2C-H : 106 pm
C≡C : 120.3 pm
chloroethyneCHCClC-H : 105.5 pm
C-Cl : 163.7 pm
C≡C : 120.3 pm
nitrogen (II) oxideNON=O : 115.06 pm
phosphinePH3P-H : 142 pm
sulfur (IV) oxideSO2S=O : 143.08 pm
sulfur (VI) oxideSO3S=O : 141.98 pm
chlorineCl2Cl-Cl : 198.78 pm
hydrogenH2H-H : 74.114 pm
oxygenO2O=O : 120.74 pm

hydrocarbons

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
methaneCH4C-H : 108.7 pm
cyclohexaneC6H12C-H : 111.9 pm
C-C : 153.6 pm
ethaneC2H6C-C : 153.5 pm
C-H : 109.4 pm
buthaneC4H10C-C : 153.1 pm
C-H : 111.7 pm
cyclobuthaneC4H8C-H : 111.3 pm
C-C : 155.5 pm
decalinC10H18C-C : 153 pm
C-H : 111.3 pm
trans-but-2-enCH3CHCHCH3C-C : 150.8 pm
C=C : 134.6 pm
butan-1,3-dieneCH2CHCHCH2C-C : 146.7 pm
C=C : 134.9 pm
C-H : 110.8 pm
but-2-yneCH3CCCH3C-C : 146.8 pm
C≡C : 121.4 pm
C-H : 111.6 pm
etheneC2H4C=C : 133.9 pm
C-H : 108.7 pm
acetyleneC2H2C-H : 106 pm
C≡C : 120.3 pm
benzeneC6H6C-C : 139.9 pm
C-H : 110.1 pm
tolueneC6H5CH3C-C : 139.9 pm
C-CH3 : 152.4 pm
C-H : 111 pm

oxides

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
carbon dioxideCO2C=O : 116 pm
sulfur (II) oxideSOS=O : 148.11 pm
xenon) oxideXeO4Xe=O : 173.6 pm
strontium oxideSrOSr=O : 191.98 pm
carbon monoxideCOC=O : 112.83 pm
dichlorine monoxideCl2OCl-O : 169.59 pm
hydrogen peroxideH2O2O-O : 147.5 pm
nitrogen (II) oxideNON=O : 115.06 pm
sulfur (IV) oxideSO2S=O : 143.08 pm
sulfur (VI) oxideSO3S=O : 141.98 pm
barium oxideBaOBa-O : 193.97 pm

salts

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
arsenic chlorideAsCl3As-Cl : 216.5 pm
potassium bromideKBrK-Br : 282.08 pm
potassium chlorideKClK-Cl : 266.67 pm
silver bromideAgBrAg-Br : 239.31 pm
silver fluorideAgFAg-F : 198.32 pm
silver chlorideAgClAg-Cl : 228.08 pm
bismuth (III) chlorideBiCl3Bi-Cl : 242.3 pm
germanium chlorideGeCl4Ge-Cl : 211.3 pm
tin (IV) chlorideSnCl4Sn-Cl : 228 pm
zirconium (IV) chlorideZrCl4Zr-Cl : 232 pm
ammonium chlorideNH4ClN-H : 122 pm
sodium chlorideNaClNa-Cl : 236.09 pm
sodium bromideNaBrNa-Br : 250.2 pm
sodium iodideNaINa-I : 271.15 pm

hydrides

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
arsenic hydrideAsH3As-H : 151.1 pm
potassium hydrideKHK-H : 224.4 pm
silver hydrideAgHAg-H : 161.7 pm
caesium hydrideCsHCs-H : 249.38 pm

inorganic acids

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
hydrogen bromideHBrH-Br : 141.45 pm
hydrogen chlorideHClH-Cl : 127.46 pm
hydrogen cyanideHCNH-CN : 106.55 pm
hydrogen fluorideHFH-F : 91.69 pm
hydrogen jodideHIH-I : 160.9 pm
hydrogen sulfurideH2SH-S : 133.56 pm
nitrous (III) acidHNO2N-O : 143.2 pm
nitrous (V) acidHNO3O-H : 141 pm

alcohols

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
methanolCH3OHC-H : 109.4 pm
C-O : 142.5 pm
O-H : 94.5 pm
ethanolC2H5OHC-C : 151.2 pm
C-O : 143.1 pm
O-H : 97.1 pm
C-H : 110 pm

phenols

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
phenolC6H5OHC-C : 139.7 pm
C-O : 136.4 pm
O-H : 95.6 pm
C-H : 108.2 pm

carboxylic acids

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
formic acidHCOOHC=O : 120.2 pm
C-O : 134.3 pm
C-H : 109.7 pm
O-H : 97.2 pm

amines

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
methylamineCH3NH2N-H : 101 pm
C-H : 109.9 pm
C-N : 147.1 pm
phenylamineC6H5NH2C-C : 139.2 pm
N-H : 99.8 pm
C-N : 143.1 pm

other organic

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
chloroformCHCl3C-H : 110 pm
C-Cl : 175.8 pm
bromoformCHBr3C-Br : 192.4 pm
C-H : 111 pm
chlorobenzeneC6H5ClC-H : 108.3 pm
C-Cl : 173.7 pm
C-C : 140 pm
2-chloroetanolClCH2CHOHC-Cl : 180.1 pm
C-H : 109.3 pm
O-H : 103.3 pm
tetrachloromethaneCCl4C-Cl : 176.7 pm
freon-11CCl3FC-Cl : 175.4 pm
freon-13CClF3C-Cl : 175.2 pm
tetrabromomethaneCBr4C-Br : 193.5 pm
chloroethyneCHCClC-H : 105.5 pm
C-Cl : 163.7 pm
C≡C : 120.3 pm
acetaldehydeCH3CHOC-C : 151.5 pm
C=O : 121 pm
H-CH2 : 110.7 pm
H-CO : 112.8 pm
C-C : 151.5 pm
oxiran(CH2CH2)OC-C : 146.6 pm
C-H : 108.5 pm
C-O : 143.1 pm

hydroxides

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
potassium hydroxideKOHO-H : 91 pm

halogens

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
chlorineCl2Cl-Cl : 198.78 pm

silans

SubstanceMolecular formulaBond lengths
monosilaneSiH4Si-H : 147.98 pm

Some facts

  • When we say about bond length in the molecule we get in mind the distance between atomic nuclei.
  • In real world, distance beetwen atoms are not constant, because atoms in mocelules are in constant motion. Effectively bonds are in longer-shorter cycle, oscillating around some particular length.
  • In general, the length of the bonds is a property of a whole molecule. It means, that the distance between the same pair of atoms (e.g., C-H) may vary depending on which compound we are dealing with.
  • Experimental methods that allow to study the bond lengths in molecules include:
    • X-ray diffraction of solids - uses X-ray diffraction during contact with the electron cloud, allows to experimentally determine the structure (geometry) of solids (crystals),
    • low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) - is a bombardment of the crystal surface (solid body) with a beam of low energy electrons (20-200 eV) and observation of their diffraction on a fluorescent screen,
    • spectroscopic methods - measuring the absorbance (degree of absorption) of electromagnetic waves at a fixed frequency during contact with the test substance.
  • The lengths of bonds can also be determined theoretically by quantum chemistry methods. These calculations consist in finding the position of atomic nuclei for which potential energy of the whole molecule reaches the minimum. Such a procedure is called geometry optimization.
  • Mathematical optimization of geometry is searching for the minimum of many variables function:
    E=f(R1,R2,R3,...)E = f(\vec{R1}, \vec{R2}, \vec{R3}, ...)
    where:
    • E - energy of a molecule at a given position of atomic nuclei,
    • Ri\vec{R_i} - position of i-th atom.
  • The quality of results obtained during geometry optimization depends on the method of calculating energy in given point. The methods currently used during routine calculations are:
    • Hertree-Fock based - solving the Schroedinger equation using a variation method with a test function in the form of one Slater determinant,
    • density functional theory (DFT).

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