Inductive Effect and Its Types

by Josue Tavorn

What is Inductive Effect?

Inductive effect can be defined as the polarization of a σ bond as a result of electron donating or electron withdrawing effect of adjacent atoms or groups. Inductive effect is denoted as “the I Effect”.

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Features of Inductive effect:

  • It occurs due to the electro negativity difference between two atoms that form a sigma bond.
  • It controls the physical and chemical properties of compounds.
  • The magnitude of the inductive effect decreases as it moves away from the groups creating it.
  • Inductive effect is a permanent effect.
  • It works on σ bonded electron.

The working of Inductive effect:

When atoms of two different elements are participating in a bond, it will not have a uniform electron density of a σ bond. The electron clouds in a bond incline to move towards the more electronegative atom in the bond.

When a covalent bond exists between two dissimilar atoms, the electron pair of the bond resides in the center i.e between the nuclei of the two atoms. Such bonds are called nonpolar covalent bonds.

When a covalent bond exists between two similar atoms, the electron pair of the bond is never shared equally between the two atoms but get attracted towards more electronegative atom.

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Types of Inductive effect

There are two types of inductive effect viz positive inductive effect and negative inductive effect.

  • Positive Inductive Effect (+I): It is the electron releasing nature of the atoms. It is denoted by +I. Examples-
  • C(CH3)3 > CH2CH3 > H
  • Negative Inductive Effect (-I): It is the electron withdrawing nature of atoms. It is denoted by -I. Examples-

NH3+ > CN > CHO > COOH > CONH2 > Cl > I > OR > C6H5 > H

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