Difference between Ionic and Convalent Bonds


I’m not even that sure what they exactly are, to be honest.

In: Chemistry

The difference between an ionic and a covalent bond has to do with how the atoms in question share their electrons.

Let’s consider sodium chloride (table salt) and carbon dioxide.

Sodium and chlorine, in their compounded form, differ greatly in their respective *electronegativities*, the tendency of an atom to pull electrons to itself. Therefore, the sodium atom will lose its electron to the chlorine atom.

In carbon dioxide, carbon and oxygen do not differ so greatly in their electronegativities, so instead of one losing an electron to the other, they’ll share it.

Covalent bonds are normally found between two nonmetallic atoms, whereas ionic bonds are normally found between a metal and a nonmetal.

I will give an example for this.

Case 1: You and your girlfriend are out camping. Your GF forgot to bring lunch, not an eatery in sight and you have an extra lunch. What do you do? You give her extra lunch and are fine with yours.

Same case with Ionic Bond where one atom with more electrons gives it’s electron to other.

Case 2: You and your friend (male) are out camping. Both bought lunch but you have an extra too. After eating lunch both of you are hungry. What you do? You share the extra lunch so both are full.

Same case with Covalent Bond where two atoms share electrons to get stable configuration.