Sharing is Caring
As a refresher, in order for atoms to bond with each other, they need to either donate or share valence electrons to attain a stable configuration (like an octet). Donating electrons forms an ionic bond; sharing electrons forms a covalent bond. When atoms don’t bond with each other to attain a more stable configuration, they are sad. When atoms do bond with each other to attain a more stable configuration, they are happy!
You should understand:
- That ionic bonds involve a positively-charged metal cation donating electrons to a negatively-charged nonmetal anion.
- That positively-charged metal cations and negatively-charged nonmetal anions are held together by electrostatic forces, or “opposites attract.”
- How to find charge based on an ion’s location on the periodic table: Metals lose their valence electrons to become positively charged, and nonmetals gain valence electrons to achieve a full octet.
- That ionic bonds can hold together multiple ions, but the overall charge must add up to zero. You should also be able to figure out how many of each type of ion is required, based on their charge.
Content contributors: Emma Moulton and Emily Zhang