Hydrogen bonding differs from other uses of the word "bond" since it is a force of attraction between a hydrogen atom in one molecule and a small atom of high electronegativity in another molecule. That is, it is an intermolecular force, not an intramolecular force as in the common use of the word bond.
When hydrogen atoms are joined in a polar covalent bondwith a small atom of high electronegativity such as O, F or N, the partial positive charge on the hydrogen is highly concentrated because of its small size. If the hydrogen is close to another oxygen, fluorine or nitrogen in another molecule, then there is a force of attraction termed a dipole-dipole interaction. This attraction or "hydrogen bond" can have about 5% to 10% of the strength of a covalent bond.
Hydrogen bonding has a very important effect on the properties of water and ice. Hydrogen bonding is also very important in proteins and nucleic acids and therefore in life processes. The "unzipping" of DNA is a breaking of hydrogen bonds which help hold the two strands of the double helix together.
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