Ionic bond

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An ionic bond is the bonding between a non-metal and a metal, that occurs when charged atoms (ions) attract. This happens after a metal atom loses one or more of its electrons to the nonmetal atom. This makes the bond stronger and harder to break.

When this happens, the metal becomes a positive cation, and the non-metal becomes a negative anion. This occurs, for example, when sodium and chlorine join to form common salt, NaCl.

In other words, an ionic bond is the electrostatic force of attraction between two oppositely charged ions.[1] The positive ion is called cation, and the negative ion is the anion. It is like the north and south poles of a magnet.

Features of ionic bonds[change | change source]

  • Three dimensional structure called an ionic lattice.[1]
  • Soluble in water.
  • High melting point and boiling point because a large amount of energy is required to break the electrostatic forces holding the lattice together.[1]
  • They are compounds formed from metals and non-metals.
  • In a solid state they do not conduct electricity. However, in a liquid state or when dissolved in water, they will conduct electricity well because the ions are free to move.
  • They contrast to the characteristics of a covalent bond.
  • Sometimes if they do not have a spare electron to create a complete shell one will act as two and spin in a figure of eight around both atoms.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Curtis, Cliff (2011). Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry Revision Guide. Pearson Education. p. 21. ISBN 9780435046729.