Ionic and Covalent Bonds

There are many types of chemical bonds and forces that bind molecules together. The two most basic types of bonds are characterized as either ionic or covalent. In ionic adhere, atoms transfer electrons to each early. ionic bonds require at least one electron donor and one electron acceptor. In contrast, atoms with the same electronegativity share electrons in covalent bonds, because neither atom preferentially attracts or repels the partake electrons .


ionic bind is the complete transfer of valence electron ( s ) between atoms. It is a type of chemical bond that generates two oppositely charged ions. In ionic bonds, the metal loses electrons to become a positively charged cation, whereas the nonmetal accepts those electrons to become a negatively charged anion. ionic bonds require an electron donor, much a metallic element, and an electron acceptor, a nonmetallic .
ionic bonding is observed because metals have few electrons in their outer-most orbitals. By losing those electrons, these metals can achieve baronial boast configuration and satisfy the octet rule. similarly, nonmetals that have close to 8 electrons in their valence shells tend to readily accept electrons to achieve noble boast configuration. In ionic bind, more than 1 electron can be donated or received to satisfy the eight rule. The charges on the anion and cation equate to the number of electrons donated or received. In attic bonds, the net charge of the compound must be zero.

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This sodium molecule donates the lone electron in its valence orbital in order to achieve octet shape. This creates a positively charged cation due to the loss of electron .

This chlorine atom receives one electron to achieve its octet configuration, which creates a negatively charged anion .
The predicted overall energy of the ionic bonding process, which includes the ionization energy of the metallic element and electron affinity of the nonmetal, is normally positive, indicating that the reaction is endothermic and unfavorable. however, this reaction is highly favorable because of the electrostatic attraction between the particles. At the ideal interatomic distance, attraction between these particles releases adequate department of energy to facilitate the reaction. Most attic compounds tend to dissociate in diametric solvents because they are much polar. This phenomenon is due to the reverse charges on each ion .
model \ ( \PageIndex { 1 } \ ) : chloride Salts
ionic1 (2).jpg
In this example, the sodium atom is donating its 1 valence electron to the chlorine atom. This creates a sodium cation and a chlorine anion. Notice that the internet charge of the resulting compound is 0 .
ionic2 (1).jpg
In this exemplar, the magnesium atom is donating both of its valence electrons to chlorine atoms. Each chlorine atom can only accept 1 electron before it can achieve its noble gas configuration ; therefore, 2 atoms of chlorine are required to accept the 2 electrons donated by the magnesium. Notice that the internet charge of the colonial is 0 .

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Covalent Bonding

covalent bonding is the sharing of electrons between atoms. This type of bonding occurs between two atoms of the same component or of elements close to each other in the periodic table. This bonding occurs primarily between nonmetals ; however, it can besides be observed between nonmetals and metals .
If atoms have similar electronegativities ( the lapp affinity for electrons ), covalent bonds are most likely to occur. Because both atoms have the like affinity for electrons and neither has a tendency to donate them, they share electrons in arrange to achieve octet shape and become more stable. In addition, the ionization energy of the atom is excessively bombastic and the electron affinity of the atom is besides little for ionic bind to occur. For exercise : carbon does not form ionic bonds because it has 4 valence electrons, half of an octet. To form ionic bonds, Carbon molecules must either gain or lose 4 electrons. This is highly unfavorable ; consequently, carbon molecules share their 4 valence electrons through single, double, and triple bonds indeed that each atom can achieve noble gas configurations. covalent bonds include interactions of the sigma and pi orbitals ; therefore, covalent bonds lead to formation of unmarried, double, treble, and quadruple bonds .
exemplar \ ( \PageIndex { 2 } \ ) : \ ( PCl_3\ )

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covalent1.jpg In this example, a phosphorous atom is sharing its three odd electrons with three chlorine atoms. In the end product, all four of these molecules have 8 valence electrons and satisfy the octet rule .

Bonding in Organic Chemistry

Ionic and covalent bonds are the two extremes of bonding. polar covalent is the intermediate type of bonding between the two extremes. Some attic bonds contain covalent characteristics and some covalent bonds are partially ionic. For model, most carbon-based compounds are covalently bonded but can besides be partially ionic. Polarity is a measure of the separation of charge in a colonial. A compound ‘s polarity is dependent on the symmetry of the compound and on differences in electronegativity between atoms. Polarity occurs when the electron pushing elements, found on the left slope of the periodic board, exchanges electrons with the electron pulling elements, on the right side of the postpone. This creates a spectrum of mutual opposition, with ionic ( polar ) at one extreme, covalent ( nonionic ) at another, and diametric covalent in the middle .
Both of these bonds are significant in constituent chemistry. ionic bonds are important because they allow the synthesis of specific organic compounds. Scientists can manipulate attic properties and these interactions in order to form coveted products. covalent bonds are specially important since most carbon molecules interact primarily through covalent bond. Covalent bonding allows molecules to share electrons with early molecules, creating farseeing chains of compounds and allowing more complexity in life sentence .

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  1. Vollhardt, K. Peter C., and Neil E. Schore. Organic Chemistry Structure and Function. New York: W. H. Freeman, 2007.
  2. Petrucci, Ralph H. General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2007.
  3. Brown, Theodore L., Eugene H. Lemay, and Bruce E. Bursten. Chemistry: The Central Science. 6th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1994.


1. Are these compounds ionic or covalent ?
2. In the follow reactions, indicate whether the reactants and products are ionic or covalently bonded .
a )
b ) clarification : What is the nature of the bond between sodium and amide ? What kind of bail forms between the anion carbon range and sodium ?
c )



  • 1 ) From left to right : Covalent, Ionic, Ionic, Covalent, Covalent, Covalent, Ionic .
  • 2a) All products and reactants are ionic.
  • 2b) From left to right: Covalent, Ionic, Ionic, Covalent, Ionic, Covalent, Covalent, Ionic.
  • 2c) All products and reactants are covalent.