I just thought of adding a chem post before launching into another blog series. Hope you enjoy today’s post!
Let’s get started…
What’s the point of bonding?
Atoms would be fine single, right? No, wrong! The only reason that atoms bond is to achieve stability. Atoms are made of electrons, protons and neutrons. The protons and neutrons bunch up in the middle to form the atomic nucleus, and the electrons arrange themselves in shells around the nucleus.
What determines stability is the outermost shell- it has to have precisely 8 electrons. This is why atoms bond- they lose, share or gain electrons to achieve stability.
Types of bonding->
There are 3 types of bonding- ionic, covalent and the metallic bond. Ionic bonding takes place between a metal and nonmetal- the metal loses electrons, and the nonmetal gains them. Covalent bonding takes place between only 2 nonmetals- they don’t gain or lose any electrons, they share them. And the metallic bond is basically only in metals.
The Ionic Bond->
So, why is an ionic bond called an ionic bond? This is because ions are formed as the atoms bond. An ion is a charged atom- as you can see in the above GIF.
Ionic bonding takes place between a metal and a nonmetal. Let’s use the above GIF as an example. The chemical compound being formed is sodium fluoride. Sodium is the metal in this case, and fluoride is a nonmetal. Sodium has 1 electron in the outermost shell, whereas fluorine has 7.
To gain stability, the atoms do something sneaky! Sodium donates it’s single electron to fluorine, leaving it with a stable outer shell. 7+1=8, so fluorine gains the electron- leaving it with a stable outer shell too! Ions are formed, since the charges are thrown off balance. Electrons have a negative charge, right? So, the metal always form the positive ion- because it always loses some negative charge- and nonmetals always form the negative ion, since they gain some negative charge! There’s memes on this that had me laughing loudly-
The Covalent Bond->
Right, this is far easier to understand than ionic bonding. Once again, let’s use the above GIF as an example. So- both the nonmetal atoms need only a single electron to be stable. Instead of gaining or losing, they share! 7+1=8, and both need only one more electron to achieve stability. So they both share one electron, and no ions are formed.
The Metallic Bond->
The structure of metals is such that positive ions stick together and form a lattice, while there’s a sea of electrons floating in between. Like magnets, opposites attract here too- so the positive ions and the negative electrons are attracted to eachother.
This structure has helped us to understand some properties of metals. For example, most metals are very efficient conductors of electricity- this is because the sea of electrons can easily navigate the lattice of ions and carry the charge from one end of the metal to the next!
That’s it for today. I’m aware that today’s post was a little tricky to write and understand, so if there’s any questions you’ve got, or any clarifications you’d like, please comment and I’ll answer!
Have a great day, and thank you for reading!