1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Which are stronger - ionic or covalent bonds?

  1. Sep 21, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I am currently teaching grade 11 chemistry, which isn't really my area. I am trying to find out, in general, whether ionic or covalent bonds are stronger.

    I am finding a lot of conflicting information online.

    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
    Ionic substances have higher melting/boiling points in general, so ionic bonds seem stronger. Ionic substances are also solid at room temperature, whereas many molecular substances aren't.

    It is confusing though because bond strength depends on the specific atoms involved. However, their is a question on one of the worksheets I am supposed to use which asks the students to compare, so I'm wondering what generalizations I can make. Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2014 #2

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    If I would have to pick one to be "stronger", then I would say ionic, but a strong covalent bond is probably "stronger" than a weak ionic one (something with large atoms).
     
  4. Sep 22, 2014 #3

    vela

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor

    It depends on what you mean by "stronger." That said, I'd go with covalent as the stronger bond because, for instance, when you dissolve table salt in water, the atoms separate into ions whereas, say, carbon dioxide molecules generally stay in one piece when dissolved in water. The covalent bonding of the atoms in CO2 is better at keeping the molecule intact than the ionic bonds in salt.
     
  5. Sep 22, 2014 #4

    Ygggdrasil

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    In most molecular substances, melting corresponds to breaking the non-covalent intermolecular bonds (e.g. hydrogen bonds, van der Waals interactions) between molecules. A more fair comparison would be comparing the melting point of an ionic substance with the melting point of a covalent network solid like diamond.
     
  6. Nov 5, 2014 #5
    Covalent bonds are stronger because the atoms are sharing the electrons, Ex: H20. Ionic bonds is when the atoms exchange the electrons, and are bonded because of their negative and positive charge Ex: Na+Cl-.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Which are stronger - ionic or covalent bonds?
  1. Covalent bonding? (Replies: 6)

  2. Covalent Bonding (Replies: 3)

  3. Bonds: Polar Covalent (Replies: 4)

  4. Covalent bond question (Replies: 1)

Loading...