How is an ionic bond formed ?

An ionic bond is also called as electrovalent bond. The positively charged ion is called cation, and the negatively charged ion is called anion. An ionic bond between a cation A+ and an anion B- is commonly described by writing the cation and anion together, viz., A+B-

An ionic bond is also called as electrovalent bond. The positively charged ion is called cation, and the negatively charged ion is called anion. An ionic bond between a cation A+ and an anion B- is commonly described by writing the cation and anion together, viz., A+B-

An ionic (or electrovalent) bond is formed between two ions of opposite charges. During the formation of an ionic bond, one of the reacting elements should form a positively charged ion (cation), and the other should give a negatively charged ion (anion). This is possible only if, one of the atoms loses one or more electrons and the other gains one or more electrons.

The two oppositely charged ions, i.e., the cation and the anion are then held together by an ionic bond due to the electrostatic force of attraction between the ions.

Formation of an ionic bond takes place through the following steps.

1. Atom of one of the elements loses one or more electrons to form a cation, e.g., an atom A loses one electron to form a cation A+
2. An atom of the other element gains one or more electrons to form an anion, e.g., an atom B gains one electron to form an anion B-

3. The cation and anion so formed come closer and are held together by the electrostatic force of attraction, i.e., the two ions are bound by an ionic bond.

Characteristics of an ionic bond

An ionic (electrovalent) bond has been the following characteristics:

(i) An ionic bond is formed due to the columbic attraction between positively and negatively charged ions.

(ii) An ionic bond is non-directional. This is because columbic forces acting equally in all directions.

(iii) An ionic bond gets broken when an ionic compound is dissolved in a polar solvent such as, water, or it is melted.