By caroline beaty
Atoms seldom exist as independent particles in nature, because independently they have a high potential energy, and nature favors arrangements with a lower potential energy. Most atoms are also less stable independently and therefore combine with others to decrease their potential energy and become more stable.
When atoms bond, their valance electrons are placed in ways that make the atoms more stable. The ways in which electrons are redistributed (gaining, losing, or sharing) determines the type of bond made. Three common types of chemical bonding is ionic, chemical, and metallic bonding.
Main group elements tend to lose electrons to form positive ions (cations), and nonmetals tend to gain electrons to form negative ions (anions). Chemical bonding that results from the attraction between cations and anions is called ionic bonding. Atoms then completely give up electrons to other atoms to become stable.
Covalent bonding results from the sharing of electron pairs between two atoms to become more stable.
Chemical bonding in metals is different than in ionic or covalent bonding. The difference is reflected in the unique properties of the metals. The resulting chemical bond between metal atoms and the surrounding sea of electrons is called metallic bonding.
Compare and contrast Properties
Ionic: Substances that have ionic bonds have a powdery or granular appearance, are soluble in water, have a high melting point, and are only conductive when in a liquid state or when dissolved in water.
Covalent: Substances that have covalent bonds also have a powdery or granular appearance, but only sometimes soluble in water, and in no state are conductive.
Metallic: Substances that have metallic bonds, very unlike any other, have a shiny appearance, are not soluble in water, have a high melting point, and are conductive in both solid and liquid forms.