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Animation: Formation of Ions and Ionic Bonds

by Pearson
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Sometimes atoms complete their outer shells by stealing or giving away electrons. This happens between sodium and chlorine atoms. An electron moves from the sodium atom to the chlorine atom. The outer shells of both atoms are now complete containing 8 electrons. The chlorine atom now has 18 electrons but only 17 protons. Because an electron has a negative charge, the chlorine atom now has a net negative charge. Such a charged atom (or molecule) is called an ion; in this case, a negative ion. The sodium atom has lost an electron, leaving it with an extra proton, which has a positive charge. The sodium atom has become a positive ion. Ions with opposite charges are attracted to each other, forming an ionic bond. These ions combine to form a compound with new properties. In this case, sodium chloride -- ordinary table salt -- is formed. An ionic bond can form between any two oppositely-charged ions. The ions do not need to have acquired their charge by an electron transfer with each other.
Sometimes atoms complete their outer shells by stealing or giving away electrons. This happens between sodium and chlorine atoms. An electron moves from the sodium atom to the chlorine atom. The outer shells of both atoms are now complete containing 8 electrons. The chlorine atom now has 18 electrons but only 17 protons. Because an electron has a negative charge, the chlorine atom now has a net negative charge. Such a charged atom (or molecule) is called an ion; in this case, a negative ion. The sodium atom has lost an electron, leaving it with an extra proton, which has a positive charge. The sodium atom has become a positive ion. Ions with opposite charges are attracted to each other, forming an ionic bond. These ions combine to form a compound with new properties. In this case, sodium chloride -- ordinary table salt -- is formed. An ionic bond can form between any two oppositely-charged ions. The ions do not need to have acquired their charge by an electron transfer with each other.