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Ionic bond

Ionic bonding is the process of two or more atoms losing or gaining electrons to become charged ions. The charged ions are then attracted to each other:

Li+ + F- -> Li+ + F-

This type of bonding occurs between metals and non-metals. It only occurs if the overall energy change for the reaction is favourable(the bonded atoms have a lower energy than the free ones). The large the energy change the stronger the bond.

Pure ionic bonding doesn't actually happen with real atoms. All bonds have a small amount of covalency. The larger the difference in electronegativity the more ionic the bond.

The diagram above shows the electron configurations of lithium and fluorine. Note that litium has one electron in it's outer shell.This electron is held rather loosely (ionisation energy ?). Note also that flourine has 7 electrons in it's outer shell.If the electron moves from lithium to flourine each ion aquires the configuration of a noble gas. The bonding energy (from the electrostatic attraction[?] of the two oppositely charged ions) is large enough (negative value) that the overall bonded state energy is lower than the unbonded state. Impression of two ions (for example [Na]+ and [Cl]-) forming an ionic bond. Electron orbitals[?] generally do not overlap (ie. molecular orbitals are not formed), because each of the ions reached the lowest energy state[?], and the bond is based only (ideally) on the electrostatic interactions between positive and negative ions.

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