Heterolysis (chemistry)

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In chemistry, heterolysis or heterolytic fission (from Greek ἕτερος, heteros, "different," and λύσις, lusis, "loosening") involves cleavage of a chemical bond in a process where both of the electrons involved in the original bond remain with only one of the fragment species.[1] During heterolytic bond cleavage in a neutral molecule, a cation and an anion will be generated. Typically, the more electronegative fragment will retain the pair of electrons.

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The energy involved in this process is called heterolytic bond dissociation energy. Bond cleavage is also possible by a process called homolysis. In the gas-phase, heterolysis of a neutral molecule will require additional energy to separate the ion contact pair.

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  1. ^ IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book") (1997). Online corrected version:  (2006–) "heterolysis (heterolytic)".