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Difference Between Ionic Covalent and Metallic Bonds

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Last updated date: 02nd Mar 2024
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Ionic, Covalent,  Metallic Bonds

Chemical bonds can be defined as the attractive force which holds tightly the groups of atoms together in a chemical species. Depending upon the strength, chemical bonds can be classified broadly into two categories including primary and secondary bonds. When atoms are held together within the molecules, then the chemical bond formed is called a primary bond. While the forces that hold molecules together  are known as secondary bonds. Majorly, three types of primary bonds are found which include ionic, covalent and metallic bonds. Secondary bonds also include different types of bonds which include hydrogen, dipole and dispersion bonds, etc. 


As compared to secondary, primary bonds are relatively more stable and have high bond energies. One of the major differences between all the primary bonds is the formation of the bonds.


Ionic Bonding And Metallic Bonding

Ionic bonds, also known as electrovalent bonds, are defined as the bonds present between the negative and positive ions held together by the strong electrostatic force of attraction. In NaCl, ionic bonds can be seen where sodium has 1 electron in the outermost orbit whereas the outermost shell of the chlorine has 7 electrons. 


Hence, 1 electron is needed to chlorine to complete its octet. So, sodium donates one of its electrons to chlorine. Hence, an ionic bond is formed as sodium becomes positively charged by losing 1 electron, and chlorine becomes negatively charged by gaining 1 electron. 

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Due to the attractions between the ions and the electron cloud, electrostatic forces are formed which is known as metallic bonds. Metallic bonds are hard due to their crystalline nature. In the metal lattice, almost every atom shares electrons. The electrons involved in metallic bonds are also known as localized electrons. Metallic bonds can be seen in silver, copper, gold, nickel, etc.

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Distinguish Between  Covalent And Ionic Bonds

  • Formation: When one atom gives an electron to another atom, then the bond form is ionic. Whereas when two atoms share their valence electrons, then the bond formed is covalent. 

  • Hardness: Except silicon, carbon and diamond, all the covalent bonds are not very hard. However, ionic bonds are not hard in nature.

  • Boiling and Melting Points of Ionic, Covalent and Metallic Bonds: Both ionic and metallic bonds have higher melting and boiling points, unlike covalent bonds that have low melting and boiling points.


Covalent Bonds

When two atoms share their valence electrons, then the bond formed is known as a covalent bond. The atoms that bond together have quite small differences in their electronegativity.  In water, covalent bonds can be seen where both the hydrogens share 1 electron each, and 2 electrons are shared by oxygen.  

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Covalent, Ionic And Metallic Bonds Difference 

Basis of Comparison 

Covalent Bond

Ionic Bond

Metallic Bond

Definition

When two positively charged nuclei are held together with the shared pair of electrons by a strong electrostatic force of attraction, it is known as a covalent bond.

When an anion is combined with a cation by a strong electrostatic force of attraction, it is known as an ionic bond.

In the geometrical arrangement of the two metals, delocalized electrons are held together with the atoms or cation by strong electrostatic force is called a metallic bond. 

Existence

This bond exists in gases, liquid and solid form

The bond exists only in solid form

The bond exists only in the solid-state.

Conductivity

They have very low conductivity.

The conductivity of the Ionic bond is low.

They have a high electrical and thermal conductivity 

Examples

This bond can be seen in diamond, carbon, water, nitrogen gas, etc.

This bond can be seen in LiF, NaCl, and BeO, etc.

This bond can be seen in copper, silver, iron, gold, etc.

Occurrence 

This bond occurs between two nonmetals.

This bond occurs between two metals

This bond occurs between a nonmetal and a metal.

Bond 

The bond present is directional

The bond is non-directional

The bond present is non-directional

Involvement 

In the valence shell, this bond is involved in the sharing of electrons.

This bond is involved in the acceptance and transferring of the electrons from the valence shell.

In the lattice of the metals, delocalized electrons are found and this bond is involved in the attraction between those delocalized electrons.

FAQs on Difference Between Ionic Covalent and Metallic Bonds

Q1. Discuss Some Properties of Ionic, Metallic and Covalent Bonds.

Some of the properties of three types of primary bond are listed below:


Properties

Ionic 

Metallic 

Covalent 

Bond energy

The bond energy of covalent bonds is higher as compared to the ionic bond.

The bond energy of the metallic bond is lowered as compared to both the ionic and covalent bonds.

The bond energy of covalent bonds is higher as compared to the metallic bond.

Malleability

In nature, ionic bonds are non-malleable.

Metallic bonds are malleable

Covalent bonds are also non-malleable just like ionic bonds.

Ductility

Just like they are non-malleable, similarly, they are non-ductile too.

Just like they are malleable, similarly, they are ductile too.

Just like ionic bonds, they are also non-ductile.

Q2. What are the Similarities Between Ionic, Covalent and Metallic Bonds?

Although ionic, covalent and metallic bonds have many differences, all the three types of primary chemical bonds also have some similarities which are listed below:

  • All three types of primary bonds i.e covalent, ionic, and metallic have the electrostatic force of attraction. This force makes all the three bonds stronger.

  • All three bonds are involved in combining one atom with another atom.

  • A stable compound is formed as a result of the bonding between the atoms.

  • As compared to the original elements, all the three kinds of primary chemical bonds have different properties.