# How are ionic and covalent bonds different?

Mar 25, 2018

An old distinction....

#### Explanation:

The modern covalent bond is conceived to be the result of the SHARING of electron density between adjacent positively charged nuclei...

...the point at which electrostatic attraction between the intervening electron cloud and the positively charged nuclei is MAXIMIZED, and the internuclear repulsion between like charges is MINIMIZED is the equilibrium covalent bond-length...

On the other hand, ionic bonding results from electrostatic interaction between positively charged, and negatively charged ions. In the ionic lattice, there are layers and lattices of interpenetrating positive and negative ions. Certainly, the particles of like charges repel each other...however, if you sum up ALL the attractive and repulsive interactions, the which may certainly be done quantitatively, a net attractive force results, and this is the so-called $\text{lattice enthalpy}$ of an ionic salt.