The above figure is an example of a hydrocarbon
- Hydrocarbons are compounds that are predominately composed of Hydrogen
and Carbon atoms.
- There are many different types of compounds that are predominately
hydrocarbon in structure but have other functional groups. Examples of
this type would be cholesterol, fatty acids and phospholipids.
- The covalent bonds between the Carbon and
Hydrogen atoms are nonpolar covalent bonds.
- With nonpolar covalent bonds, unkike polar covalent
bonds, there is an equal sharing of electron between the Carbon atoms and
the Hydrogen atoms.
- Thus, there is no charge separation in the molecule and it cannot form
hydrogen bonds with water.
Hydrophobic interactions are more correctly called hydrophobic
In the figure above and to the left, there are two
regions containing hydrophobic substances.
Each of the substances is excluded from the water matrix.
Over a period of time the two areas of hydrophobic
substances will encounter one another, combine and form one larger hydrophobic
region that is excluded from the water matix.
This combined state is more energetically favorable
than the one in which the hydrophobic substances were separate. Thus this
combined state will persist.
Return to covalent bonds