# What are the characteristics of an ionic bond?

Jul 21, 2017

When we are first introduced to chemistry we learn that.........

#### Explanation:

.....$\text{covalent bonding}$ involves the sharing of electrons, and $\text{ionic bonding}$ results from the TRANSFER of electrons to form discrete positive and negative ions......

And of course unlike charges attract each other electrostatically.....

Now we can represent the formation of an ionic solid by this simple redox equation.....

$N a \left(s\right) + \frac{1}{2} C {l}_{2} \left(g\right) \rightarrow N {a}^{+} C {l}^{-} \left(s\right)$.

The bonding observed in the solid salt results from electrostatic attraction between positively charged metal ions, and negatively charged chloride ions. Of course in the ionic lattice the cations repel each other, i.e. $N {a}^{+}$ REPELS neighbouring $N {a}^{+}$, and likewise for $C {l}^{-}$; but if you sum up electrostatic attraction versus electrostatic repulsion over the entire lattice, electrostatic attraction wins (and this process can certainly be done quantitatively).

Sometimes, with polar solvents, the ionic lattice can be broken up to give discrete positive and negative ions solvated by water molecules. This is what we mean when we write $N a C l \left(a q\right)$.

And so we can characterize an ionic bond as non-directional, and STRONGLY non-molecular, and typically formed between metallic cations, and non-metallic anions, which arrange themselves in an infinite array of interpenetrating positive and negative ions.

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