Metals, Minerals & Gemstones: Types of bonding and their properties

Essay by Miss_AcademicHigh School, 12th gradeA, December 2006

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Atoms with unstable electron configurations try to achieve a stable configuration by bonding with other atoms. Atoms bond in three ways:

1. Accepting or donating electrons to form charged particles which are attracted to each other.

2. Sharing electrons with atoms of two or more atoms

3. Forming lattices of positive particles through which electrons can move.

These types of bonding are known as Ionic, Covalent, and Metallic bonding.

Ionic Bonding

Ionic bonding is the electrical attraction of two oppositely charged atoms (cation and anions). Ionic bonding involves atoms forming as positive ions when they lose valence electrons and negative ions when they gain electrons. Positive and negative ions are attracted to each other and form crystalline solids.

Properties of Ionic Compounds

* In ionic compounds the forces between the positive and negative ions are very strong.

* Crystalline because of the ordered way the ions are arranged.

* Crystal shatters when force is applied to push ions of the same charge together.

* Have high melting and boiling points.

* Solids at room temperature.

* Do not conduct electricity as solids since the electrons are held tightly and are not free to move.

* Most are soluble in water

* Aqueous solutions conduct electricity as ions can move freely

Covalent Bonding

Covalent bonding involves the sharing of electrons between atoms to form a bond. The noble gasses are un-reactive because they have a full outer shell of electrons, making their electron configuration very stable. This sharing of electrons gives each atom the same number of electrons as noble gasses making it more stable. The sharing of a pair of electrons creates a single covalent bond. The pair of electrons that are shared are known as the bonding pair. Any pairs of electrons that are not shared in the outer...