Ionic Bond or Electrovalent Bond

What is an Ionic Bond?

The electrostatic force of attraction which holds the two oppositely charged ions together is called the ionic bond.

A chemical bond is formed between two atoms by the complete transfer of one or more electrons from one atom to the other as a result of which the atoms attain their nearest inert gas configuration.

There are primarily three ways in which two atoms combine to lose energy and to become stable. One of the ways is by donating or accepting electrons to complete their octet configuration. The bond formed by this kind of combination is known as an ionic bond or electrovalent bond. This kind of bond is formed when one atom gains electrons while the other atom loses electrons from its outermost level or orbit.

Table of Contents

Electrovalent Bond

Electrovalent bonds are produced when electrons are transferred from atoms of one element to atoms of another element, producing positive and negative ions. The bond which is formed by the transfer of electrons between the atoms is called electrovalent bond or ionic bond. Electrovalent bonds are only formed between metals and non-metals. Electrovalent bonds are not formed between two non-metals.

Ionic Bond Or Electrovalent Bond

In simple words electrovalent bond involves the transference of a certain number of electrons to another dissimilar atom which has a tendency to gain electrons so that both acquire stable inert gas configurations. The electrostatic attraction always tends to decrease the potential energy. Hence, the potential energy of the system is much less than it was before the formation of an ionic bond.

Electronegativity and Ionic Bonding

  • An Ionic bond is the bond formed by the complete transfer of valence electron to attain stability.
  • This type of bonding leads to the formation of two oppositely charged ions – positive ions known as cations and negative ions known as anions.
  • The presence of two oppositely charged ions results in a strong attractive force between them. This force is an ionic or electrovalent bond.
  • Ionic bonds form between atoms with large differences in electronegativity, whereas covalent bonds formed between atoms with smaller differences in electronegativity.
  • The compound formed by the electrostatic attraction of positive and negative ions is called an ionic compound.

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Ionic Bond Vs Covalent Bond

Ionic Bond Covalent Bond
The ionic bond is the attraction between positive and negative ions in a crystal and compounds held together by ionic bonds are called ionic compounds. The covalent bond is a bond formed when two atoms share one or more electron pairs. Each atom contributes an equal number of electrons towards the bond formation.
If the difference of ionization potential between the two atoms is more ionic compounds are formed. Atoms with higher ionization potential are unable to lose their valence electrons and hence prefer to form covalent bonds by sharing of electrons.
Atoms with greater electronegativity difference lead to the formation of an ionic bond. If the electronegativities of the combining atoms do not differ much then the bond formed between them is likely to be covalent.
Example: NaCl Example: HCl

Ionic Bond Properties

Due to the presence of a strong force of attraction between cations and anions in ionic bonded molecules, the following properties are observed:

  1. The ionic bonds are the strongest of all the bonds.
  2. The ionic bond has charge separation, and so they are the most reactive of all the bonds in the proper medium.
  3. The ionic bonded molecules have high melting and boiling point.
  4. The ionic bonded molecules in their aqueous solutions or in the molten state are good conductors of electricity. This is due to the presence of ions which acts as charge carriers.

Examples of Ionic Bonds

The following table shows the elements and the ions formed by them when they lose or gain e.

Element Electronic config. Reaction Formed ion
Na(11) 2,8,1 Na → Na+ + e   ………………….. Reaction 1 Na+
Ca(20) 2,8,8,2 Ca → Ca2+ + 2e……………….. Reaction 2 Ca2+
Cl(17) 2,8,7 Cl + e→ Cl– ………………….……. Reaction 3 Cl
O(8) 2,6 O + 2e→ O2-…………………… Reaction 4 O2-
  • Now when Na reacts with Cl, reaction 1 and reaction 3 will take place and the resultant compound will be NaCl.
  • When Na reacts with O, reaction 1 and reaction 4 will take place and the resultant compound will be Na2
  • When Ca reacts with Cl, reaction 2 and reaction 3 will take place and the resultant compound will be CaCl2.
  • When Ca reacts with O, reaction 2 and reaction 4 will take place and the resultant compound will be CaO.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What is an ionic bond? Explain with an example?

When a positively charged ion forms a bond with a negatively charged ion, one atom donates electrons to the other, this is known as an ionic bond. The chemical molecule Sodium Chloride is an example of an ionic bond.


What kind of force is present in ionic bonds?

Ionic bonding is a form of chemical connection in which one atom loses valence electrons and gains them from another. For both atoms involved, this exchange results in a more stable noble gas electrical state. The attractive electrostatic interactions between two ions of opposite charge form an ionic bond.


How do you find ionic formulas?

To obtain an ionic compound’s formula, first determine the cation and record its symbol and charge. Then, write down the anion’s symbol and charge on a piece of paper. Finally, unite the two ions to create a chemical molecule that is electrically neutral.


Are ionic bonds between two nonmetals?

Consider whether each element is a metal or a nonmetal to anticipate the sort of bond that will form between them. In general, nonmetals form covalent bonds, metals and nonmetals create ionic connections, and metals and metals create metallic connections.


How do you break ionic bonds?

Ionic chemicals dissolve in polar solvents like water because they are polar. When polar solvents disrupt the ionic bonds, they dissolve. By dissolving the ionic substance in water, you can disrupt the ionic bonds.


What is a covalent bond?

A covalent bond is formed by the sharing of electrons between participating atoms. In it, each atom contributes an equal number of electrons for bond formation. It is also referred to as molecular bonds.

Can an ionic bond form between two metals?

No, the ionic bond can not form between two metals. An ionic bond is formed between positive and negative ions or a metal and a non-metal by the donation of electrons.

How are ionic bonds formed between atoms?

Ionic bonds are formed by the complete transfer of electrons between two atoms. An atom that gains an electron acquires a negative charge and is known as an anion, while the atom that loses an electron acquires a positive charge and is referred to as a cation.

Do ionic bonds have a high melting point?

Yes, ionic bonds have a high melting point. Ionic bonds are formed by the complete transfer of electrons held together by a strong electrostatic force of attraction. It has a high melting point because a large amount of energy is required to break their bonds.

What makes an ionic bond stronger?

A dispositive cation forms a more robust covalent bond than a unipositive cation. Moreover, small ions form strong covalent bonds than large ions because of effective nuclear charge.

This was a brief introduction about ionic bonds and their formation. Learn more about different types of chemical bonds, join BYJU’S.

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  1. I need the information of ionic bond formation with an example of nacl breify

    • In NaCl, the sodium atom forms a cation with +1 charge by losing an electron. The chlorine atom gains an electron and becomes an anion with -1 charge. The attraction between the oppositely charged ions results in the formation of an ionic bond.

  2. Why electrovalent bond even called ionic bond?

    • Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bonding that involves the electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions[citation needed], or between two atoms with sharply different electronegativities. This transfer of electrons is known as electrovalence in contrast to covalence.

  3. What is polarity of bonds?

    • In chemistry, bond polarity is the separation of electric charge along a bond, leading to a molecule or its chemical groups having an electric dipole or dipole moment. Electrons are not always shared equally between two bonding atoms.