bond formed upon interaction between molecular species, one of which serves as a donor and the other as an acceptor of the electron pair to be shared in the complex formed, e.g
. In spite of the analogy of dative bonds with covalent bonds, in that both types imply sharing a common electron pair between two vicinal atoms, the former are distinguished by their significant polarity
, lesser strength, and greater length. The distinctive feature of dative bonds is that their minimum-energy rupture in the gas phase or in inert
solvent follows the heterolytic bond cleavage path.
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook