Molecular Orbital (MO)

Definition - What does Molecular Orbital (MO) mean?

A molecular orbital (or MO), in chemistry, refers to an orbital in atomic structure of molecules. It is a wave-function of a molecule's electron and is used to calculate its chemical and physical properties. A molecular orbital is used to find the potential regions of a molecule where an electron can occupy the orbital.

Molecular orbitals are sometimes created by combining atomic orbitals or hybrid orbitals from every atom of the molecule, or alternative molecular orbitals from teams of atoms.

Corrosionpedia explains Molecular Orbital (MO)

A molecular orbital will specify the electron configuration of a molecule. A molecular orbital describes the behavior of one electron within the field generated by the nuclei and a few average distribution of the opposite electrons.

The molecular orbital theory applies the orbital idea to molecular systems. It was the key to the understanding of the electronic structure of atoms. It predicts the distribution of electrons in a molecule that successively predicts molecular properties like shape, magnetism, and bond order. A molecular orbital is not the same as an atomic orbital. In general, a molecular orbital embraces all the nuclei within the molecule, instead of being targeted on one nucleus.

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