Problem: In which MO is the overlap of atomic orbitals greater, a σ2p or a π2p?

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We are asked which MO is the overlap of atomic orbitals greater, a σ2p or a π2p.


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In which MO is the overlap of atomic orbitals greater, a σ2p or a π2p?
AO plus AO leads to an antibonding molecular orbital (higher energy) and a bonding molecular orbital (lower energy). A diagram shows overlap between 2pz, 2px, and 2py orbitals, all of which appear as egg-shaped balloons attached end-to-end but are arranged in different directions. 2pz orbitals have end-on overlap, resulting in the higher energy sigma*2p, which has a two pairs of lobes, one larger than the other but connected at the nucleus, separated by a node, and the lower energy sigma2p, which has an oval with two short extensions. The 2px orbitals have sideways (vertical) overlap, resulting in the higher energy pi*2p, which appear as two pairs of balloons bending away from each other, separated by a node and connected at the nucleus, and the lower energy pi2p, which is two ovals, found above and below the nuclei. The 2py orbitals have sideways (into the page) overlap, and have similar orbitals to 2px but oriented into the page.

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