Introduction to Animated Molecular Orbitals


Animated Molecular Orbitals are a new way to view Chemical Reactions. Each reaction shows how important orbitals (Intrinsic Bonding Orbitals) change during a reaction.These animations can be used to help understand curly arrow mechanisms.

Use the example below to understand how these animations work and how they can help to understand reactions in more depth. Pages with these Animated Molecular Orbitals will have a button underneath the viewer. Please be patient, they may take a few seconds to load.

Use your scroll wheel to enlarge and shrink the models, right clicking the mouse (Control-click MacOS) over the JSmol screen will give additional options and features that can be explored.

Example 1 – A Simple SN2


These animations have been made possible by the programme IboView with the assistance of the authors and the addition of specific features to JSmol by Bob Hanson.


1. G. Knizia and J. E. M. N. Klein, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl., 2015, 54, 5518–22 and G. Knizia, J. Chem. Theory Comput., 2013, 9, 4834–4843.

How useful was this page?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this page.

As you found this page useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this page was not useful for you!

Let us improve this page!

Tell us how we can improve this page (in your own language if you prefer)? If you would like a response, please include your email address e.g. [email protected]

Provided by the