1.2.3 Ionic Bonding

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Ionic Bonding
Ionic bonding is when ions are stuck together by electrostatic attraction. Ions are formed when
electrons are transferred from one atom to another. The simplest ions are single atoms which
have either lost or gained 1, 2, 3 electrons so as to have a full outer shell.
A sodium atom (Na) loses 1 electron to form a sodium ion (Na+)
A magnesium atom (Mg) loses 2 electrons to form a magnesium ion (Mg2+)
A chlorine atom (Cl) gains 1 electron to form a chloride ion (Cl-)
An oxygen atom (O) gains 2 electrons to form an oxide ion (O2-)
You can look in the periodic table to work out what ions form from each element. Elements in
the same group have the same number of outer electrons. SO they have to lose or gain the
same number to get the full outer shell they're aiming for. And this means that they form ions
with the same charges. Electrostatic attraction holds positive and negative ions together- it is a
very strong attraction. When atoms are held together like this, it's called ionic bonding.
An ionic bond is an electrostatic attraction between two oppositely charged ions
Not all ions are made from single atoms. There are lots of ions that are made up of a group of
atoms with an overall charge. These are called compound ions e.g.
> Nitrate NO3-
> Carbonate CO32-
> Sulfate SO42-
> Ammonium NH4+
Sodium chloride and magnesium oxide are ionic compounds. The formula of sodium chloride
is NaCl. It tells you that sodium chloride is made up of Na+ and Cl- ions in a 1:1 ratio. You can
use `dot and cross' diagrams to show how ionic bonding works in sodium chloride:
Magnesium oxide, MgO, is another good

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Sodium chloride has a giant ionic lattice structure. In NaCl, the Na+ and Cl- ions are packed
together in a regular structure called a lattice. The structure is called `giant' because it's made
up of the same basic unit repeated over and over again. The sodium chloride lattice is cube
shaped- different ionic compounds have different shaped structures, but they're still giant
lattices. Sodium chloride has got very strong ionic bonds, so it takes loads of energy to break up
the lattice.…read more


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