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Photo credit EMSL via Flickr

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood but of respect and joy in each others lives." 

-Richard Bach

Ionic vs. Covalent Bonding

Compounds form when elements bond chemically. There are two main types of chemical bonds: covalent and ionic (electrovalent).

So what's the difference?

These two videos (though a bit long) do a nice job of explaining the basics of ionic and covalent bonds.

Bonding, Part 1 of 2 (Ionic Bonding)

Bonding, Part 2 of 2 (Covalent Bonding)

How can you tell which type of bond will form?

Periodic Table showing metals vs non metals

Use your Periodic Table to determine whether an element is a metal or a non-metal and how many valence electrons it has to help determine if it will bond by transferring (ionic/electrovalent) or sharing (covalent) valence electrons.

In general, compounds formed between a metal and a non-metal will contain ionic bonds. Using the Periodic Table above that means any compound that contains an element shown in orange will contain ionic (electrovalent) bonds.

Compounds that form between two non-metals (or between non-metals and metalloids) will contain covalent bonds. Using the Periodic Table above that means any compound that contains element shown in yellow or green will contain covalent bonds.

How much do you need to know about bonding?