• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Which are stronger - ionic or covalent bonds?

  • Thread starter jumbogala
  • Start date
  • #1
423
2

Homework Statement



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.

Homework Equations





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!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
33,821
9,541
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).
 
  • #3
vela
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
14,538
1,150
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.
 
  • #4
Ygggdrasil
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
2,947
2,125
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.
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.
 
  • #5
2
0
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-.
 

Related Threads for: Which are stronger - ionic or covalent bonds?

  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
10K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
4K
Replies
3
Views
97K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
14K
Top