Carbon-carbon bond
Overview
 
A carbon–carbon bond is a covalent bond
Chemical bond
A chemical bond is an attraction between atoms that allows the formation of chemical substances that contain two or more atoms. The bond is caused by the electromagnetic force attraction between opposite charges, either between electrons and nuclei, or as the result of a dipole attraction...

 between two carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

 atom
Atom
The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons...

s. The most common form is the single bond
Bond order
Bond order is the number of chemical bonds between a pair of atoms. For example, in diatomic nitrogen N≡N the bond order is 3, while in acetylene H−C≡C−H the bond order between the two carbon atoms is also 3, and the C−H bond order is 1. Bond order gives an indication to the stability of a bond....

: a bond composed of two electron
Electron
The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative elementary electric charge. It has no known components or substructure; in other words, it is generally thought to be an elementary particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton...

s, one from each of the two atoms. The carbon–carbon single bond is a sigma bond
Sigma bond
In chemistry, sigma bonds are the strongest type of covalent chemical bond. They are formed by head-on overlapping between atomic orbitals. Sigma bonding is most clearly defined for diatomic molecules using the language and tools of symmetry groups. In this formal approach, a σ-bond is...

 and is said to be formed between one hybridized
Orbital hybridisation
In chemistry, hybridisation is the concept of mixing atomic orbitals to form new hybrid orbitals suitable for the qualitative description of atomic bonding properties. Hybridised orbitals are very useful in the explanation of the shape of molecular orbitals for molecules. It is an integral part...

 orbital from each of the carbon atoms. In ethane, the orbitals are sp3 hybridized
Orbital hybridisation
In chemistry, hybridisation is the concept of mixing atomic orbitals to form new hybrid orbitals suitable for the qualitative description of atomic bonding properties. Hybridised orbitals are very useful in the explanation of the shape of molecular orbitals for molecules. It is an integral part...

 orbitals, but single bonds formed between carbon atoms with other hybridisations do occur (e.g.
Encyclopedia
A carbon–carbon bond is a covalent bond
Chemical bond
A chemical bond is an attraction between atoms that allows the formation of chemical substances that contain two or more atoms. The bond is caused by the electromagnetic force attraction between opposite charges, either between electrons and nuclei, or as the result of a dipole attraction...

 between two carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

 atom
Atom
The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons...

s. The most common form is the single bond
Bond order
Bond order is the number of chemical bonds between a pair of atoms. For example, in diatomic nitrogen N≡N the bond order is 3, while in acetylene H−C≡C−H the bond order between the two carbon atoms is also 3, and the C−H bond order is 1. Bond order gives an indication to the stability of a bond....

: a bond composed of two electron
Electron
The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative elementary electric charge. It has no known components or substructure; in other words, it is generally thought to be an elementary particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton...

s, one from each of the two atoms. The carbon–carbon single bond is a sigma bond
Sigma bond
In chemistry, sigma bonds are the strongest type of covalent chemical bond. They are formed by head-on overlapping between atomic orbitals. Sigma bonding is most clearly defined for diatomic molecules using the language and tools of symmetry groups. In this formal approach, a σ-bond is...

 and is said to be formed between one hybridized
Orbital hybridisation
In chemistry, hybridisation is the concept of mixing atomic orbitals to form new hybrid orbitals suitable for the qualitative description of atomic bonding properties. Hybridised orbitals are very useful in the explanation of the shape of molecular orbitals for molecules. It is an integral part...

 orbital from each of the carbon atoms. In ethane, the orbitals are sp3 hybridized
Orbital hybridisation
In chemistry, hybridisation is the concept of mixing atomic orbitals to form new hybrid orbitals suitable for the qualitative description of atomic bonding properties. Hybridised orbitals are very useful in the explanation of the shape of molecular orbitals for molecules. It is an integral part...

 orbitals, but single bonds formed between carbon atoms with other hybridisations do occur (e.g. sp2 to sp2). In fact, the carbon atoms in the single bond need not be of the same hybridisation. Carbon atoms can also form double bond
Double bond
A double bond in chemistry is a chemical bond between two chemical elements involving four bonding electrons instead of the usual two. The most common double bond, that between two carbon atoms, can be found in alkenes. Many types of double bonds between two different elements exist, for example in...

s called alkene
Alkene
In organic chemistry, an alkene, olefin, or olefine is an unsaturated chemical compound containing at least one carbon-to-carbon double bond...

s or triple bond
Triple bond
A triple bond in chemistry is a chemical bond between two chemical elements involving six bonding electrons instead of the usual two in a covalent single bond. The most common triple bond, that between two carbon atoms, can be found in alkynes. Other functional groups containing a triple bond are...

s called alkyne
Alkyne
Alkynes are hydrocarbons that have a triple bond between two carbon atoms, with the formula CnH2n-2. Alkynes are traditionally known as acetylenes, although the name acetylene also refers specifically to C2H2, known formally as ethyne using IUPAC nomenclature...

s. A double bond is formed with an sp2 hybridized
Orbital hybridisation
In chemistry, hybridisation is the concept of mixing atomic orbitals to form new hybrid orbitals suitable for the qualitative description of atomic bonding properties. Hybridised orbitals are very useful in the explanation of the shape of molecular orbitals for molecules. It is an integral part...

 orbital and a p-orbital that isn't involved in the hybridization. A triple bond is formed with an sp hybridized
Orbital hybridisation
In chemistry, hybridisation is the concept of mixing atomic orbitals to form new hybrid orbitals suitable for the qualitative description of atomic bonding properties. Hybridised orbitals are very useful in the explanation of the shape of molecular orbitals for molecules. It is an integral part...

 orbital and two p-orbitals from each atom. The use of the p-orbitals forms a pi bond
Pi bond
In chemistry, pi bonds are covalent chemical bonds where two lobes of one involved atomic orbital overlap two lobes of the other involved atomic orbital...

.

Carbon has the unique characteristic among all elements to form long chains of its own atoms, a property called catenation
Catenation
Catenation is the ability of a chemical element to form a long chain-like structure via a series of covalent bonds. Catenation occurs most readily in carbon, which forms covalent bonds with other carbon atoms. Catenation is the reason for the presence of a large number of organic compounds in nature...

. This coupled with the strength
Bond strength
In chemistry, bond strength is measured between two atoms joined in a chemical bond. It is the degree to which each atom linked to another atom contributes to the valency of this other atom...

 of the carbon–carbon bond gives rise to an enormous number of molecular forms, many of which are important structural elements of life, so carbon compounds have their own field of study: organic chemistry
Organic chemistry
Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...

.

Branching
Branching (chemistry)
In polymer chemistry, branching occurs by the replacement of a substituent, e.g., a hydrogen atom, on a monomer subunit, by another covalently bonded chain of that polymer; or, in the case of a graft copolymer, by a chain of another type...

 is also common in C−C skeletons. Different carbon atoms can be identified with respect to the number of carbon neighbors:
  • primary carbon atom: one carbon neighbor
  • secondary carbon atom: two carbon neighbors
  • tertiary carbon atom: three carbon neighbors
  • quaternary carbon atom: four carbon neighbors


Synthesis

Carbon–carbon bond forming reactions are organic reaction
Organic reaction
Organic reactions are chemical reactions involving organic compounds. The basic organic chemistry reaction types are addition reactions, elimination reactions, substitution reactions, pericyclic reactions, rearrangement reactions, photochemical reactions and redox reactions. In organic synthesis,...

s in which a new carbon–carbon bond is formed. They are important in the production of many man-made chemicals such as pharmaceuticals and plastic
Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

s.

Some examples of reactions which form carbon–carbon bonds are Aldol reaction
Aldol reaction
The aldol reaction is a powerful means of forming carbon–carbon bonds in organic chemistry.Discovered independently by Charles-Adolphe Wurtz and Alexander Porfyrevich Borodin in 1872, the reaction combines two carbonyl compounds to form a new β-hydroxy carbonyl compound...

s, Diels–Alder reaction, the addition of a Grignard reagent to a carbonyl group, a Heck reaction
Heck reaction
The Heck reaction is the chemical reaction of an unsaturated halide with an alkene and a base and palladium catalyst to form a substituted alkene. Together with the other palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions, this reaction is of great importance, as it allows one to do substitution...

, a Michael reaction
Michael reaction
The Michael reaction or Michael addition is the nucleophilic addition of a carbanion or another nucleophile to an alpha, beta unsaturated carbonyl compound. It belongs to the larger class of conjugate additions. This is one of the most useful methods for the mild formation of C-C bonds...

 and a Wittig reaction
Wittig reaction
The Wittig reaction is a chemical reaction of an aldehyde or ketone with a triphenyl phosphonium ylide to give an alkene and triphenylphosphine oxide....

.

See also

  • An extensive list is presented here: list of carbon–carbon bond forming reactions
  • The chemistry of carbon bonded to other elements in the periodic table:
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