Valence Bond Theory (VBT)

Valence bond theory was proposed by Heitler and London in 1927, to describe the formation of hydrogen molecule from its atoms. In this approach, the process of chemical bond formation can be visualized as the overlapping of atomic orbitals of the two atoms as they approach each other. The strength of the bond depends on the effectiveness or extent of the overlapping. Greater the overlapping of the orbitals, stronger is the bond formed.

Bonding in Hydrogen Molecule

Suppose that the two hydrogen atoms are at infinite distance from each other. Their electrons are in their respective 1s orbitals and are under the influence of the corresponding nuclei. As the two atoms approach each other their 1s orbitals begin to overlap which lead to decrease in energy.

At a distance equal to the bond length the overlapping is maximum and the energy is minimum. The overlapping can be equated to the sharing of electrons between the atoms. The electrons occupying the shared region of orbitals are under the influence of both the nuclei.