What is Ionic bonds: Definition and 21 Discussions

Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bonding that involves the electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions, or between two atoms with sharply different electronegativities, and is the primary interaction occurring in ionic compounds. It is one of the main types of bonding along with covalent bonding and metallic bonding. Ions are atoms (or groups of atoms) with an electrostatic charge. Atoms that gain electrons make negatively charged ions (called anions). Atoms that lose electrons make positively charged ions (called cations). This transfer of electrons is known as electrovalence in contrast to covalence. In the simplest case, the cation is a metal atom and the anion is a nonmetal atom, but these ions can be of a more complex nature, e.g. molecular ions like NH+4 or SO2−4. In simpler words, an ionic bond results from the transfer of electrons from a metal to a non-metal in order to obtain a full valence shell for both atoms.
It is important to recognize that clean ionic bonding — in which one atom or molecule completely transfers an electron to another — cannot exist: all ionic compounds have some degree of covalent bonding, or electron sharing. Thus, the term "ionic bonding" is given when the ionic character is greater than the covalent character – that is, a bond in which a large electronegativity difference exists between the two atoms, causing the bonding to be more polar (ionic) than in covalent bonding where electrons are shared more equally. Bonds with partially ionic and partially covalent character are called polar covalent bonds.
Ionic compounds conduct electricity when molten or in solution, typically not when solid. Ionic compounds generally have a high melting point, depending on the charge of the ions they consist of. The higher the charges the stronger the cohesive forces and the higher the melting point. They also tend to be soluble in water; the stronger the cohesive forces, the lower the solubility.

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  1. Z

    What is the exact definition of an octahedral hole in an ionic solid?

    I'm reading the book "Chemical Principles" by Atkins. In chapter 3H.6, entitled "Solids", there is a section that discusses a bonding model that explains structures and properties of many metals: the close-packed structure, in which spheres representing cations stack together with the least...
  2. Z

    Chemistry Creating KF Molecule from Neutral Atoms: A Process of Ionization and Binding

    Let's think now about the energy to create a KF molecule from neutral atoms. First we need to ionize both K and F: K loses an electron and F gains an electron. Then we have to bring the ions together. The first ionization energy of K is 418 kJ/mol and for F is 1681 kJ/mol. The electron...
  3. samy4408

    Trying to understand alveolar surface tension

    Hello, I learned recently about alveolar surface tension, and the explanation provided in the course was not satisfactory, it said that it is due to the force that pushes water molecules of the outer layer to the inner layers, I don't understand why this force that pushes water toward the cell...
  4. P

    Ionic bonding question about "double" ionic bonds

    Is a "double" ionic bond (the transfer of two electrons) like in MgO any stronger (or really any different, structurally etc.) than a "single" ionic bond (the transfer of one electron) like in NaCl?
  5. H

    Difference between co-ordinate covalent bonds and ionic bonds?

    Right now we are learning about the Lewis definition of acids and bases. I don't get the clear difference between co-ordinate covalent and ionic bonds. For example, AlCl3 is listed as a co-ordinate covalent bond because experiments show that it behaves like a covalent molecule. Why can't it be...
  6. resurgance2001

    A question about ionic bonding

    I am sure this question will have been asked elsewhere, so please forgive me if it has. My question involves the transfer of electrons in ionic bonding. We are told that a metal will give up its outer most electron because by doing so it will gain the electron configuration of a noble gas...
  7. navneet9431

    NaOH vs C2H5OH: Reason for Disassociation

    If we put NaOH in water then it disassociates into ##OH^{-}## ions(hydroxyl ions) but if we put ##C_2H_5OH## in water it does not disassociates into ##OH^{-}## ions. What is the reason that ##NaOH## disassociates into ##OH^{-}## ions(hydroxyl ions) whereas ##C_2H_5OH## does not disassociate...
  8. Ron19932017

    I Ionic bonding from a quantum mechanics point of view

    Hi all, I have a question about the quantum nature of ionic bonds. I know some ideas about molecular bonding which can combine two ground state of H atom to get a bonding state and an anti-bonding state which in the case of H2 molecules it correspond to the covalent bonding (sharing of...
  9. C

    B Can all elements, (not including gases) form Ionic Bonds?

    I've been looking all over the internet, can calcium and iron form an ionic bond, Gold and Radium, Sodium and Tin. If those elements happened to run into each other. Also, another thing I don't understand is why don't the atoms in my hand bond with atoms on the wall when they come into contact.
  10. J

    Electrons, Ionic Bonds: Hello Physics Forum - Q&A

    Hello Physics Forum, I have a quick question for the scientific community that I am unable to find online (likely because the term doesn't exist), but is there are term for the act of an electron moving from one orbit into another when binding two elements? Also I have a very minimal...
  11. S

    WHy are ionic bonds intramolecular forces?

    An intramolecular force is a force that holds atoms that form compounds or moleculues together. So if we have NaCl there are a large number of Na+ and Cl- so those ionic bonds hold the ions together so they are considered intramolecular. But say we have a mixture of molten NaCl and CaCl2 and...
  12. N

    Chemistry Ionic Bonds. Which is the strongest?

    Homework Statement Which has the strongest ionic bond? Cs2Se AlN CaI2 Kbr Homework Equations Look at electronegativities The Attempt at a Solution I looked at electronegativities and found the differences. The largest difference was KBr. But apparently, that was wrong. See EN differences...
  13. 1

    Why don't dissolved ionic bonds revert to the elemental properties?

    Sodium is a soft, reactive metal. Chlorine is a poisionous, reactive gas. Expose them to one another and they will form table salt, through ionic bonding. The compound is bonded throughout, forming a geometric matrix of bonds. If submerged in water, it will be dissolved into free Na+ and...
  14. L

    Are ionic bonds results of redox reactions?

    Because if redox is the transfer of electrons between atoms, and ionic bonding is when one or more electrons go are transferred from one atom to another, wouldn't that mean it is basically a redox reaction?
  15. L

    The compounds of acids are held together in ionic bonds?

    The strength of an acid is determined by the amount of it per volume ionizes right? So is it safe to say acids, when not in water, are composed of ions? So for example, HCL has the potential to be an acid,as it is made of a H ion and a CL ion, but cannot be until it reacts with water, because...
  16. L

    What are the principles of covalent and ionic bonds?

    I have gotten the principles of them down, but I still have some more detail to cover. From what I know about Ionic bonds is the following. -When an atom reacts with another atom in order to gain a full valence shell, the atom can either lose and electron, or gain one depending on the number of...
  17. D

    Ionic Bonds and ionic Crystals

    is that at equilibrium, energy,U=0 from the equation below? U(R) = −(A /R6 )+ (B/R12 ) i nid to differentiate the equation and equate U=0?
  18. D

    Ionic vs. Covalent Bonds: Understanding Electronegativity Differences

    in chemistry, how do i know when there is an ionic bond and when a covalent bond, someone told me when the difference between two atoms electronegativity is more than 2.5 there is an ionic bond, but there are molecules with differences in its atoms electroegativity less than 2.5m such as MgO or NaCl
  19. K

    Which of these methods can break ionic bonds between amino acids?

    i am doing revision for my exams aand was wondering which one of these, high temperature, hydrolysis or pH change would break the ionic bond between amino acids. I would go for pH change. I have no reason, it's just instinctively.
  20. M

    Chemical Compounds = Ionic Bonds?

    From what I gather both ionic and covalent bonds transform all the elements involved into ions. Does that mean every chemical compound that exists consists of ions and not atoms or are there chemical compounds that are made of pure unionized atoms? Also when they speak of ionized water what...
  21. M

    Question on Ionic bonds and compounds

    Now obviously, ionic bonds are "weaker" than covalent bonds, but my question is that according to the attached image, you can't necessarily have crystals being formed in a covelant bond as you would in an ionic bond, right? And also, when an ionic bond occurs, what makes it possible for a...