Catenation - Chemical Bonding
Catenation of chemical bonds leads to the formation of inorganic polymers. However, inorganic polymers are mostly solids in the form of crystals. Typical inorganic polymers are diamond, graphite, silicates, and other solids in which all atoms are connected by covalent bonds. Atoms and their nuclei
In order to understand the covalent bond, we must take a look at the structure of atoms. During the 20th century, the investigation of the material world turned to the very heart of material world - the structure of atoms. The discovery of electrons in 1897 by J.J. Thomson showed that there were more fundamental particles present in the atoms. Fourteen years later, Rutherford discovered that most of the mass of an atom resides in a tiny nucleus whose radius is 100,000 times smaller than that of an atom. In the mean time, light beams were discovered to be made of photons which are equivalent to particles of wave motion. These discoveries created new concepts. When these concepts and discoveries are integrated, new ideas emerge. The result is quantum theory. This theory gives good interpretations of the phenomena of the atomic and subatomic world. In this microscopic world, distances are measured in nanometers (10-9 or 1e-9 meter) and fantometers (1e-15 meter, also called fermi, in honour of Fermi who built the first nuclear reactor).
The electrons in an atom are confined by the electromagnetic force of the atomic nuclei. At this level, we need a quantum mechanical approach to understand the energy states of the electrons in the atom. However, we do not have the time to discuss this in details.