Essay On Intermolecular Forces

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Intermolecular forces play a large role in the chemistry of life. Since the chemicals in living organisms are constantly being broken down, assembled and transported, many molecular interactions utilize intermolecular forces rather than high energy covalent and ionic bonds. One of the most important products of chemistry in living organisms is the phospholipid bilayer. This forms the structure of the plasma membrane that encloses all cells. The plasma membrane regulates the passage of molecules into the cell making it one of the most important organelles. The main property of the phospholipid bilayer is the relationship between the hydrophobic fatty acid chains and the hydrophilic, polar heads of the phospholipids. The hydrophobic tails…show more content…
Since there is no electrostatic force drawing electrons from one atom to the other across the covalent bond, both atoms retain their electrons giving them a charge of near zero. Since water is a polar molecule it has no electrostatic attraction to the hydrocarbon chains and is unable to act as a solvent on them and form a hydrogen shell. The other end of the phospholipids can have various forms, but usually it consists of a phosphate group attached to either a derivative of alcohol or a charged carbohydrate. The alcohol or charged carbohydrate groups are what causes the hydrophilic interaction. The alcohol group has a dipole meaning that one end will attract the oppositely charged end of the water molecules around it to form a hydration shell. The carbohydrate group usually has a positively charged ion incorporated in its structure which causes the group to be attracted to the negative oxygen ends of water molecules and form a hydration shell. These are both forms of hydrogen bonds. The structure of the phospholipid bilayer arises when a group of phospholipids come together. A group of phospholipds in water always orient themselves so that

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