Difference between covalent and ionic bonds

Key difference - covalent vs. ionic bonds

It is in the nature of the elements to form bonds between them in order to become stable. Covalent bonds and ionic bonds are two different ways that elements bond together. The main difference between covalent and ionic bonds is that ionic bonds occur between two species that are electrostatically attracted to one another, while covalent bonds occur covalently through the sharing of electrons between their outer shells. In general , metallic elements tend to form ionic bonds and non-metallic elements tend to form covalent bonds.

What is an ionic bond | How an ionic bond is created | Properties of Ionic Bonds

As mentioned above, ionic bonds are the result of electrostatic forces between atoms that are attracted to one another due to the possession of opposing electrical charges. Each element tries to achieve a stable electronic configuration on the outer shell (electronic configuration of the noble gases). An electronic noble gas configuration prevents atoms from carrying out further reactions because they are already stable. Therefore, elements in nature that are not electronically stable tend to donate extra electrons or accept the missing number of electrons to achieve the tightest noble gas configuration. Ions are formed according to this principle.

Atoms that tend to give up their extra electrons in order to achieve a stable electronic configuration end up being positively charged (due to the loss of negatively charged electrons) and these are known as "cations". Similarly, when an atom accepts electrons to complete the final shell configuration, they become negatively charged (due to the increase in negatively charged electrons) and these are known as "anions". Therefore, by definition, ionic bonds are formed between anions and cations.

Ionic compounds tend to be inherently solid and they usually have very high melting points because the ionic bonds are quite strong; in fact, it is the strongest type of chemical bond there is. Ions can be atomic or molecular in nature. ie CO 3 2- is a molecular anion. Some examples of ionic compounds are NaCl, MgCl 2 , etc. Difference between covalent and ionic bonds

What is a covalent bond | How a covalent bond is created | Properties of covalent bonds

Covalent bonds are much weaker than ionic bonds and therefore most covalent bonds exist in the gas phase. As mentioned above, the atoms must form electrons in order to achieve a stable electronic configuration. The third way to achieve this (besides donating and accepting electrons, as mentioned with ionic bonds) is by sharing electrons.

In this method , both atoms involved in the formation of the compound share the required number of electrons (usually with a donor atom and an acceptor atom looking for the same amount of electrons ) in a common overlapped orbital space. It is important that the atoms get very close for the orbital overlap before the electron distribution takes place. Therefore, in this case, no atom is electrically charged, but remains neutral. The overlap can be linear or parallel. If it is directional and linear, the bond type is referred to as a “σ bond”, otherwise it is referred to as a “π bond”. Furthermore, this sharing of electrons can take place between similar types of atoms as well as between different types of atoms. When the atoms involved are similar, the resulting compound is called a "diatomic molecule". H 2 O, CO 2 , etc. are some common examples. Key difference - covalent vs. ionic bonds

Difference between covalent and ionic bonds

definition

Ionic bonds are created when the atoms are electrostatically attracted to one another.

Covalent bonds take place where the electrons are shared between the atoms involved in the formation.

Species involved

Ionic bonds are created by the interaction between cations and anions

Covalent bonds are created through the interaction of neutral atoms

strength

Ionic bonds are the strongest type of chemical bond and therefore most compounds with very high melting points stay solid.

In contrast, covalent bonds are quite weak and therefore most of the compounds exist in the gas phase. Difference Between Ionic and Covalent Bonds - Infographic

Image courtesy:

"207 Ionic Bonding-01" from OpenStax College - Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions website (CC BY 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

"Covalent" by DynaBlast - Created with Inkscape. (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Wikimedia Commons

About the author: admin