Nonbonding Electron Definition

A nonbonding electron does not participate in a reaction.
A nonbonding electron does not participate in a reaction. Science Photo Library - MEHAU KULYK, Getty Images

A nonbonding electron is an electron in an atom that does not participate in bonding with other atoms. The term can refer to either a lone pair in which the electron is localized and associated with one atom or to a non-bonding orbital in which the electron is delocalized throughout a molecule.

Nonbonding Electron Example

The 1s orbital electrons of a lithium atom are nonbonding electrons. Bonds are formed with the 2s electron.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Nonbonding Electron Definition." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, thoughtco.com/definition-of-nonbonding-electron-605412. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 25). Nonbonding Electron Definition. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-nonbonding-electron-605412 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Nonbonding Electron Definition." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-nonbonding-electron-605412 (accessed September 23, 2021).