April 13

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Ionic Compounds and Ionic Bond

Chemical compounds can be classed as either ionic compounds or covalent compounds, which are categories based on the kind of bonding that holds them together. Ionic compounds are crystalline solids formed by neatly packed ions of opposite charge. The force of attraction between two species is called bond. It might be a strong attraction or weak one, but it is a bond nonetheless.

The ionic bond is the attraction between the positive and negative ions in a crystal and compounds held together by ionic bonds are classed as ionic compounds. Ions, ionic compound, their formula show how each element forms an ion with a stable noble gas configuration by the loss or gain of a single electron. Most ionic compounds are composed of metals and nonmetals and most covalent compounds are composed of only nonmetals.

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Characteristics of Ionic Bonds

Ionic bond is the net attraction of ions of opposite charge in the crystal of an ionic compound. An ionic bond is non-directional in nature. A cation and an anion are considered charged spheres. These ions thus attract each other. This electrical charge is responsible for their force of attraction and repulsion. These ions have a uniform field of force around them and will thus attract oppositely charged ions from all directions.

An ionic compound is the collection of equal numbers of positive and negative ions arranged in a three dimensional lattice. Water also weakens the attraction between the ions in an ionic compound. This is why many ionic compounds dissolve well in water. Moreover, ionic compounds conduct electricity. Most ionic compounds are made of metals.

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Is salt an ionic bond?

All salts are ionic compounds. Ions have electrical charges. The base provides the positive metal ion and the acid provides the negative non-metal ion. The ionic bond is produced when an electropositive and an electronegative element react by transferring electrons. Best example is sodium chloride referred to as common table salt formed by ionic bonds.

When Na+ and Cl reacts, the electropositive sodium transfer on electrons to chlorine, Sodium and chloride ions are produced forming an ionic bond between them. This ionic bond is non-directional. Overall there is no electrical charge. But suppose we swap the sodium for calcium, calcium ions are Ca2+ so we need two Cl ions to balance them. Each molecule is surrounded by another molecule to form a regular bound crystal structure. Unlike covalent bonds, ionic bonds do not saturate and so the ions can pack together as closely as possible, the only limitation being one of space.

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