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Chemical bond Physics and Chemistry ESO

CHEMICAL BOND
There are three different ways atoms can bond. These three types of chemical bond are
ionic bond, covalent bond and metallic bond.
Three types of chemical bond: ionic bond, covalent bond and metallic bond
Ionic bond
 Metals tend to lose electrons and become cations (with positive charge).
 Non metals tend to gain electrons and become anions (with negative charge).
 Therefore, when metals and non metals are together, metals can give electrons to
non metals (metals will become positively charged and non metals will become
negatively charged).
 Positive charges (metals) and negative charges (non metals) are attracted to each
other by electrostatic forces. That is the ionic bond. A crystal is formed.
For example, in lithium chloride (LiCl), each atom of lithium loses one electron which
is gained by one atom of chlorine:
Li → Li+ + 1e- Cl + 1e- → Cl-

What is a crystal? In a crystal a huge non definite number of atoms are regularly
ordered in space. The chemical formula of a crystal represents the relative amounts in
which the different elements are combined. For example, in LiCl there are one atom of
lithium for each atom of chlorine. In CaCl2 (calcium chloride) there are one atom of
calcium for each two atoms of chlorine.
Covalent bond
 Non metals tend to gain electrons.
 When two non metals are together, they both can gain electrons by sharing them.
That´s the covalent bond: non metals sharing pairs of electrons.
 The sharing of electrons is shown in Lewis dot diagram:

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Chemical bond Physics and Chemistry ESO

 Covalent compounds can form molecules or crystals:

What is a molecule? In a molecule a definite number of atoms are joined. The formula
of a molecule represents the total number of atoms in the molecule. For example, in the
molecule CH4, we have exactly 1 atom of carbon and 4 atoms of hydrogen.
Most covalent compounds form molecules. Some examples of covalent compounds (or
elements) which form crystals are carbon (C), which can be in the form of diamond or
graphite; silica (silicon dioxide, SiO 2); or carborundum (silicon carbide, SiC).
Metallic bond
 Metals tend to lose electrons.
 When a lot of atoms of a metal are together, they all lose electrons: there is a
crystal formed by cations with the lost electrons moving throughout the crystal,
forming a sea of electrons.

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Chemical bond Physics and Chemistry ESO

Properties of compounds depending on its chemical bond


Properties of ionic compounds
They are solid at room temperature.
Why? The ionic bond is very strong. Atoms are joined by strong forces.
They have high melting points.
Why? As the ionic bond is very strong, it requires a lot of energy to separate the atoms,
in order for the substance to become liquid.
High hardnes (it is difficult to scratch them).
Why? As the ionic bond is very strong, it requires a lot of energy to break this bond to
scratch the ionic compound.
They are fragile.
Why? When you hit the crystal, ions are displaced: positive charges face positive
charges and negative charges face negative charges. Ions with the same charge repel
each other. That´s why the crystal breaks when hit by even small forces.

They dissolve in water.


Why? Electrons in the water molecule are not evenly spread. One end of the molecule is
slightly negative compared to the other end. Water molecules interact with the ions,
separating them from each other.

They can´t conduct electricity when they are in their solid state.
Why? To conduct electricity it is necessary to have charges which can move freely. That
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Chemical bond Physics and Chemistry ESO

doesn´t happen when ionic compounds are in their solid state: charges are in fixed
positions in the crystal.
They can conduct electricity when dissolved in water or melted.
Why? Because when they are dissolved or melted, ions can move freely (the crystal no
longer exists).
Properties of covalent compounds
 The properties of crystal covalent compounds are:
They are solid at room temperature with high melting points.
Why? The covalent bond is very strong, so it requires a lot of energy to break the crystal
in order to transform the substance into liquid.
High hardnes (it is difficult to scratch them).
Why? As the covalent bond is very strong, it requires a lot of energy to break this bond
to scratch the crystal.
They can´t dissolve in water.
Why? As there are no ions, water doesn´t interact with the atoms.
They don´t conduct electricity.
Why? Because there are no ions or free electrons.
 The properties of molecules are:
They can be gas, liquid or solid at room temperature, but always with low boiling and
melting points.
Why? Covalent bond is very strong, but molecules are not joined by covalent bonds,
they are joined by intermolecular forces, which are very weak.
Most of them don´t dissolve in water.
Why? As there are no ions, water doesn´t interact with the molecules.
They can´t conduct electricity.
Why? There are no ions or free electrons.
Properties of metallic compounds
They are solid at room temperature, except mercury (Hg), which is a liquid. They have
high melting points.
Why? Metallic bond is a strong bond. Atoms are joined to each other by strong forces. It
requires a lot of energy to separate these atoms (in order to transform the solid into
liquid).
High hardnes (it is difficult to scratch them).
Why? As the metallic bond is very strong, it requires a lot of energy to break this bond
to scratch the crystal.
They can conduct electricity.
Why? Because they have electrons that can move freely.
They can conduct heat.
Why? Because when electrons of one area are heated, their kinetic energy (which is
related to their speed) increases, and they can transmit that kinetic energy to cations of
other areas when they move.
They are ductile [dúctiles] (wires can be made) and malleable [maleables] (sheets can
be made).
Why? The layers of atoms can move easily without changing the structure of the crystal.

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Chemical bond Physics and Chemistry ESO

Several metals can be melted together forming alloys (aleaciones). One example is
bronze=copper+tin.
Why? After melting cations of different elements can mix and easily form a new crystal
when it is cooled down.
They have high density.
Why? Atoms are very close to each other in the crystal.

Type of bond Type of elements Structure that is formed


Ionic Metals + Non metals Crystals
Covalent Non metals Crystals or molecules
Metallic Metals Crystals

Complete the table:


Ionic Covalent Metallic
State of matter at room
temperature

Melting and boiling


points

Hardness

Fragility

Solubility in water

Conduct electricity in
solid state

Conduct electricity
when dissolved in
water or melted

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Chemical bond Physics and Chemistry ESO

Why do metals tend to lose electrons and non metals tend to gain electrons?
Elements tend to have the electron configuration of noble gases, because this electron
configuration is more stable. Noble gases are He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe and Rn. Except He,
which has 2 electrons in its last layer, the rest of noble gases have 8 electrons in their
last layers, so we can say that most elements tend to have 8 electrons in their last layer,
which is called the octet rule.
 Metals are elements that have less than four electrons in their last layer, so it is
easier for them to lose electrons than to gain them in order to obtain the electron
configuration of a noble gas.
For example, the electron configuration of Mg is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2. If it loses 2 electrons it
becomes Mg2+ whose electron configuration is 1s 2 2s2 2p6 , which is the electron
configuration of Ne.
 Non metals are elements that have more than four electrons in their last layer, so
it is easier for them to gain electrons than to lose them to obtain the electron
configuration of a noble gas.
For example, the electron configuration of chlorine is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p5 . If it gains one
electron it becomes Cl-, whose electron configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6, which is the
same electron configuration as Ar.
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