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Okay so I know that ionic bonds exhibit covalent character, but what exactly is the covalent character that it exhibits? And what constitutes a bond with a "more covalent character" than another? Also, if an ionic bond exhibits a covalent character, how do I differentiate whether a bond is ionic with covalent character or just a covalent bond?
I think that what we mean when we say that an ionic bond has covalent character is that the electrons are more likely to be pulled into the bonding region where they can be shared between the two nuclei. An ionic bond with more covalent character will have more distorted electrons (meaning that the atomic radius of one atom, in this case the anion, will be bigger, and thus the electrons will be able to move to one side more easily) and will be more polarizable. Something with greater covalent character will have lower ionic character as its electronegativity will be lower. For example, Na+Br- has higher covalent character and lower ionic character than Na+Cl- because it is more likely to share its electrons, and thus has a lower electronegativity difference than Na+Cl- which has a greater electronegativity difference.
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