There are some unique features that give carbon a versatile nature. They are given below. Check it out!
Catenation is defined as the ability of an atom to join with the other atoms of the same element and form long chains, be it straight, branched or cyclic. Carbon is the element which shows the maximum catenation property.
In other words, valency of each carbon atom can be satisfied by combining with other carbon atoms. In this way, a large number of carbon atoms can unite with one another to form different molecules.
- Catenation accounts for the existence of a very large number of carbon compounds.
A fact: No other element is capable of forming such a wide range of stable atom-to-atom bonds.
Carbon is tetravalent. So it can combine with four other atoms of itself or atoms of elements like etc., forming a large number of compounds.
Ability to form multiple bonds: Carbon atom can form single, double or triple bonds with other carbon atoms or with atoms of other elements.
Carbon forms single bonds with itself or Hydrogen, etc., double bond with Oxygen, and triple bond with Nitrogen.
Bond strength: As the size of carbon is quite small, it forms fairly strong bonds with other atoms to produce stable compounds. This further increases the number of carbon compounds.
Most of the carbon compounds show the phenomenon of isomerism. Isomers are the different compounds having the same molecular and formula as well as same molecular mass but different arrangement of the atoms present.
It means that compounds have the same molecular formula but different structural formula, showing similar chemical properties but different physical properties.
The first compound which we can see above is and the other one is called as or also as (IUPAC nomenclature of carbon compounds). The above are the 2 isomers of Butane.