DifferencesPhysics

Difference Between Ionic and Covalent Bonds in Tabular Form

Difference Between Ionic and Covalent Bonds

Difference Between Ionic and Covalent Bonds: Chemical bonds are classified into two types in physical engineering and chemical science. Ionic and covalent bonds are examples of these. Aside from these two, there are two more types of chemical bonds. These are polar and hydrogen bonds. However, in this exclusive article, I will only discuss the distinction between ionic and covalent bonds.

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Ionic bonds differ from covalent bonds in that an ionic bond is a permanent transfer of valence electrons between two atoms. The covalent bond, on the other hand, is the sharing of electrons between two atoms. Before we get into the meat of the matter, let’s take a look at the two in a table. Let’s get started!

Ionic Bond vs Covalent Bond

 Ionic BondsCovalent Bonds
1.Ionic bond occurs due to the permanent transfer of one or more electrons from one atom to another.A covalent bond occurs due to sharing of electrons between two atoms.
2.Ionic bonding can only form between metals and non-metalsCovalent bonding can only form between non-metallic elements.
3.They generally have very high melting and boiling points.They generally have very low melting and boiling point.
4.Ionic compounds are solid at room temperature.Covalent compounds are sometimes liquid or sometimes in a gaseous state at room temperature.
5.To form an ionic bond, there has to be a very large difference in the value of electronegativity between the participating atoms.To form a covalent bond, there has to be an almost equal or very low difference in the value of electronegativity between the participating atoms.
6.Ionic bonds have high polarity.Covalent bonds have low polarity.
7.Ionic compounds do not have a definite shape.Covalent bonds have a definite shape.
8.Examples of ionic bonds include Sodium Chloride (NaCl), Potassium Oxide (K2O), etc.Examples of covalent bonds include Hydrochloric Acid (HCL), Ethene (C2H4), etc.

From the above difference between ionic and covalent compounds in tabular form, you got the exact overview of these two. However, in order to get to know them in detail, let us try to understand both of them in a detailed format. Keep reading!

What is Ionic Bond?

ionic-bonding-in-sodium-chloride-molecule
This is how an Ionic bond forms between sodium (Na) and Chlorine (Cl) atom. Image Credit: Viva Differences

An ionic bond is a type of chemical bond that occurs when one or more electrons are permanently transferred from one atom to another. In fact, an atom that loses electrons permanently becomes a cation, or positively charged ion.

The atom that gains electrons, on the other hand, becomes an anion, or negatively charged ion. As a result, an ionic bond is also known as an electrovalent bond.

Not to mention that for an ionic bond to form, the electronegativity values of the participating atoms must be very different. As a result, ionic bonding can only occur between metals and nonmetals.

Properties of Ionic Bond

There are so many properties of ionic bonds. Some of them are listed below:

  • By definition, an Ionic bond is non-directional in nature.
  • Ionic compounds are soluble in water and polar solvents.
  • Ionic compounds are insoluble in non-polar solvents.
  • They have the highest melting and boiling points.
  • They show good electrical and thermal conductivity.
  • Ionic bonds or electrovalent bonds are the strongest among all types of bonds.
  • They form due to the permanent transfer of electrons, etc.

Examples of Ionic Bond

If you think you can’t relate to Ionic bond examples in everyday life. Well, here is your chance to think again!

  • Sodium Chloride (NaCl)
  • Potassium Oxide (K2O)
  • Calcium chloride (CaCL2)
  • Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4), etc.

Uses of Ionic Compounds

Compounds that form due to ionic bonding is known as Ionic Compounds. Again, If you think you can’t relate to the uses of ionic compounds in everyday life. Well, here is your chance to think again!

  • Sodium chloride as table salt
  • De-icing of roads after snowfall
  • As a preservative in cold storage
  • Water fluoridation, etc.

What is Covalent Bond?

double-covalent-bonding-in-carbon-dioxide-molecule
A typical example of Covalent bond, strictly speaking, an example of double covalent bond. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A covalent bond is a type of chemical bond formed by the sharing of electrons between the atoms involved.

Not to mention that these kinds of chemical bonds can only occur between non-metallic elements with similar or nearly identical electronegativity values.

In fact, no electrons are transferred because both participating atoms have the same electronegativity value. As a result, the formation of ions does not occur in covalent bonding.

Furthermore, the electron pairs that participate in covalent bonding are known as shared pairs or simply bonding pairs.

Types of Covalent Bonds

Based on the number of shared electron pairs, by definition, a covalent bond can be further bifurcated into three types. Let us get to know them in detail.

Single Covalent Bond

When a covalent bond forms as a result of the sharing of a single pair of electrons (two electrons) between participating atoms, we refer to it as a single covalent bond.

When compared to double and triple covalent bonds, they are weaker and have a lower density. They are also more stable than the other types of covalent bonds. A single dash represents it (-). HCL, H2, and other single covalent bonds are also examples.

Double Covalent Bond

A double covalent bond is formed when a covalent bond is formed by the sharing of a double pair of electrons (four electrons) between participating atoms.

They are stronger than a single covalent bond, but less stable. A double dash (=) represents it. CO2, O2, CL2, and other double covalent bonds are also examples.

Triple Covalent Bond

A triple covalent atom is formed when a covalent bond is formed by the sharing of a triple pair of atoms (six electrons) between participating atoms.

They are the strongest but the least stable of the three types of covalent bonds. It is denoted by a triple dash (). CN-, N2, and other triple covalent bonds are also examples.

Properties of Covalent Bond

There are so many properties of covalent bonds. Some of them are listed below:

  • By definition, the Covalent bond is directional in nature.
  • They have low melting and boiling points.
  • They show poor electrical and thermal conductivity.
  • Covalent compounds are insoluble in water.
  • Bonds are strong, therefore, a large amount of energy is needed to break them.
  • Covalent bonds are formed due to sharing of electrons.
  • Covalent compounds usually have a low enthalpy of vaporization or fusion, etc.

Examples of Covalent Bond

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If you think you can’t relate to covalent bond examples in everyday life. Well, here is your chance to think again!

  • Nitrogen (N2)
  • Hydrogen (H2)
  • Ethene (C2H4)
  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
  • Ethyne (C2H2)
  • Oxygen (O2), etc.

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