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Ionic bonding is an interesting topic in Chemistry. It teaches students how the combination of two different elements creates a new compound which may or may not carry similar characteristics displayed by the parent elements.
Students are also taught how to name the new compound, which is quite easy when using the periodic table.
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About Ionic Bonding
Ionic bonding, a type of chemical bonding, generally happens between metal and non-metal elements. There is usually the transfer of electrons between the two elements. The element which losses the electron becomes positively charged, and the one which gains the electrons becomes negatively charged.
Because of these opposing charges, electrostatic forces hold them together to form an ionic compound. These ionic compounds have similar characteristics such as dissolving easily in water, can form into crystals at high melting temperatures and capable of conducting electricity in solution.
Naming them is done by naming the metal element first, followed by the non-metal element, such as in sodium chloride, magnesium oxide and calcium chloride, to name a few.
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Common Examples of Ionic Bonds
Table Salt (NaCl)
Sodium is a silvery-white metal and clorine a yellowish-green non-metal. The most common and most popular example of ionic bonds is the combination of these two elements which produces sodium chloride, commonly known as the table salt. In this ionic bonding, an electron from the sodium atom is transferred to the chlorine atom which creates oppositely charged chloride and sodium atoms. With the electrostatic forces holding them together, they become sodium chloride. This is a fascinating example of chemical bonding since it shows that two potentially harmful elements like sodium and chlorine, when combined, can become something safe for human consumption.
Calcium Chloride (CaCl)
Calcium is a metal which is silvery gray in color. Chlorine, on the other hand, is a yellowish-green non-metal. The transfer of electrons between chlorine and calcium results in the formation of the ionic compound known as calcium chloride. CaCl has several uses in various industries. In construction it can be used in soil solidification. It enhances dye retention in paper manufacturing. It helps in highway maintenance in the control of ice or snow. And in medicine, it can be used in the treatment of patients with low levels of calcium in the blood.
Magnesium Oxide (MgO)
Magnesium is a silvery-white metal, and oxygen is a gas which is colorless. Magnesium oxide is the result of oxygen and magnesium combined. In medicine, it is incorporated as a food supplement. In other industries, it is used as a component in fiberglass, cements, steels and alloys.
Potassium Bromide (KBr)
Potassium is a metal, silvery-white in color. It easily decomposes when exposed to water, and it also catches fire easily during this reaction. Bromide, a non-metal, is a liquid with reddish-brown color. As one of the examples of ionic bonds, the chemical bonding that occurs between bromide and potassium produces potassium bromide. KBr has uses in veterinary medicine as a treatment for animals with epilepsy. It is also utilized in photographic plates and paper manufacturing.