# Intermolecular forces in secondary amines compared to primary amines

Secondary amines form hydrogen bonds, but having nitrogen in the middle of the chain rather than at the end makes the permanent dipole on the molecule slightly less. The lower boiling point is due to the lower dipole-dipole attractions in the dimethylamine compared with ethylamine.

Could someone please tell me why nitrogen, being in the middle of the molecule (as in secondary amines) causes the permanent dipole to be slightly less.

A primary amine has two $\ce{N-H}$ bonds and one $\ce{N-C}$ bond. A secondary amine has two $\ce{N-C}$ bonds and one $\ce{N-H}$ bond. Since $\ce{N-H}$ is more polarised than $\ce{N-C}$ we can expect ethyl amine to be more polar than dimethyl amine.