Ionic Bonding Notes
Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bond that involves the electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions. These ions represent atoms that have lost one or more electrons (known as cations) and atoms that have gained one or more electrons (known as an anion). In the simplest case, the cation is a metal atom and the anion is a non-metal atom, but these ions can be of a more complex nature, e.g. molecular ions like NH4+ or SO42− . In simpler words, an ionic bond is the transfer of electrons from a metal to a non-metal in order for both atoms to obtain a full valence shell.
It is important to recognize that clean ionic bonding – in which one atom "steals" an electron from another – cannot exist: All ionic compounds have some degree of covalent bonding, or electron sharing. Thus, the term "ionic bonding" is given when the ionic character is greater than the covalent character—that is, a bond in which a large electronegativity difference exists between the two atoms, causing the bonding to be more polar (ionic) than in covalent bonding where electrons are shared more equally. Bonds with partially ionic and partially covalent character are called polar covalent bonds.
Ionic compounds conduct electricity when molten or in solution, but typically not as a solid. There are exceptions to this rule, such as rubidium silver iodide, where the silver ion can be quite mobile. Ionic compounds generally have a high melting point, depending on the charge of the ions they consist of. The higher the charges the stronger the cohesive forces and the higher the melting point. They also tend to be soluble in water. Here, the opposite trend roughly holds: The weaker the cohesive forces, the greater the solubility.