Stone, Anthony J. Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, University Chemical Laboratory, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:August 2019
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An attractive or repulsive interaction that occurs between all atoms and molecules. Intermolecular forces become significant at molecular separations of about 1 nanometer or less, but are much weaker than the forces associated with chemical bonding (see illustration). They are important, however, because they are responsible for many of the physical properties of solids, liquids, and gases. These forces are also largely responsible for the three-dimensional arrangements of biological molecules and polymers. See also: Chemical bonding
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