Ionic, Metallic and Covalent Bonds

Ionic bonds-

Chemical bonding that results from the electrical attraction between cations and anions.

For example, let's use common table salt  (sodium chloride). When sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl) are combined, the sodium atoms each lose one electron, forming cations (Na+), and the chlorine atoms each gain one electron to form anions (Cl−). These ions are then attracted to each other in a 1:1 ratio to form sodium chloride (NaCl).

Characteristics of ionic bonds would be:

Powdery or granular appearance

Solubility in water

Does not melt easily

Does not conduct energy as a solid but does as a liquid or when dissolved in water


Covalent bonds-

Chemical bonding that results from the sharing of electron pairs between 2 atoms.

One example would be a hydrogen gas atom. Hydrogen gas has a total of 2 Hydrogen atoms. Each Hydrogen atom has 1 valence electron. To make the gas, he 2 atoms connect there valence electron together making them covalent.

Characteristics of covalent bonds would be:

Powdery or granular appearance

Sometimes dissolves in water, sometimes does not

Low melting point

Does not conduct energy as a solid, liquid, or even when dissolved in water

Metallic bonds-

Chemical bonding that results from the attraction between metal atoms and the surrounding sea of electrons.

Cu, Al, Au, Ag etc. are all examples of metallic bonding because all of their outer most electrons are only loosely bound to the nuclei because of their relative remoteness from their positively charged cores. All of these valence electrons combine to form a "sea" of electrons that move freely between the atom cores. The positively charged cores are held together by these negatively charged electrons. In other words, the free electrons act as the bond between the positively charged ions. Metallic bonds are non directional. As a consequence, the bonds do not break when a metal is deformed. This is one of the reasons for the high ductility of metals.

Characteristics of metallic bonds would be:

Shiny appearance

Not dissolvable in water

High melting point

Conducts energy as a solid and a liquid.

Comment Stream