Bromine is a diatomic molecule. At room temperature, bromine exists as a reddish-brown liquid made up of Br2 molecules, with each molecule consisting of two bromine atoms chemically bonded together through a covalent bond. 1 2
Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.
So let’s dive right into it.
Key Takeaways: Why is Bromine Diatomic?
- Bromine is a diatomic molecule composed of two bromine atoms chemically bonded together through a covalent bond.
- Monatomic bromine can exist in certain conditions such as in the gas phase at high temperatures or under high-energy radiation, but under normal conditions, bromine exists as a diatomic molecule.
- Bromine atoms bond to form a diatomic molecule through a covalent bond, which involves the sharing of a pair of electrons between the two atoms.
Explanation: Why is bromine a diatomic molecule?
Bromine is a diatomic molecule because it is composed of two bromine atoms that are chemically bonded together. Specifically, the two atoms are joined by a covalent bond, which is a type of chemical bond that involves the sharing of electrons between atoms.
In the case of bromine, each atom has seven valence electrons in its outermost shell. To achieve a stable octet (eight valence electrons), each bromine atom shares one electron with the other, forming a single covalent bond. 3
This results in a molecule with the chemical formula Br2, which is a diatomic molecule.
It’s worth noting that many other elements also form diatomic molecules in their natural states, such as oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2), and hydrogen (H2). 4
This is because these elements have a similar electronic structure, with a nearly full outermost shell that can be completed by forming a covalent bond with another atom of the same element.
Does monatomic bromine exist?
Monatomic bromine, which refers to a single bromine atom, can exist in certain conditions such as in the gas phase at high temperatures or under high-energy radiation. 5
However, under normal conditions, bromine exists as a diatomic molecule (Br2) due to the covalent bond between two bromine atoms.
At room temperature and pressure, bromine is a reddish-brown liquid that easily evaporates to form a vapor composed of diatomic bromine molecules. 6
These molecules have a significant dipole moment due to the difference in electronegativity between the two bromine atoms, which causes the molecule to have a partial positive and partial negative charge at opposite ends.
In summary, while monatomic bromine can exist in certain conditions, it is not the most stable form of the element, and under normal conditions, bromine exists as a diatomic molecule.
How do bromine atoms bond to form a diatomic molecule?
Bromine atoms bond to form a diatomic molecule through a covalent bond, which involves the sharing of a pair of electrons between the two atoms.
This bond is formed when each bromine atom contributes one electron to a shared electron pair, resulting in a stable configuration with a complete outer electron shell.
This sharing of electrons creates a stable molecule that is held together by the electrostatic attraction between the positively charged nuclei of the two atoms and the negatively charged electron pair that is shared between them.
The bond between the bromine atoms is a nonpolar covalent bond, meaning that the electrons are shared equally between the two atoms, resulting in a molecule with no net dipole moment. 7
Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. He is a founder of Pediabay and is passionate about helping students through his easily digestible explanations.
Read more about our Editorial process.
- P. (n.d.). Bromine. Bromine | Br2 | CID 24408 – PubChem. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/24408
- Bonding strength – Structure and bonding – Higher Chemistry Revision – BBC Bitesize. (n.d.). BBC Bitesize. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zt9887h/revision/7
- Boudreaux, K. A. (n.d.). The Parts of the Periodic Table. The Parts of the Periodic Table. https://www.angelo.edu/faculty/kboudrea/periodic/periodic_main7.htm
- McCord, P. (n.d.). Common Diatomic Elements. Common Diatomic Elements. https://mccord.cm.utexas.edu/chembook/page.php?chnum=1§=13
- Bromine – Wikipedia. (2016, January 5). Bromine – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromine
- Glossary: Bromine. (n.d.). Glossary: Bromine. https://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/en/phthalates-school-supplies/glossary/abc/bromine.htm
- Is Br2 Polar or Non-polar? (Bromine Gas). (2021, March 16). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEl40VUDEVk