Ionic and Covalent Character

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Trinity Vu 1D
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:15 am

Ionic and Covalent Character

Postby Trinity Vu 1D » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:24 pm

What does it mean for a bond to have ionic character and covalent character? For example, C-F and C-Br are both covalent bonds but question 2b on mini Dino nuggets review packet asks which has more ionic character. Is this referring to dipole moment magnitudes? If so, what would covalent character mean in terms of ionic bonds?

Yuri Lin 4H
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Ionic and Covalent Character

Postby Yuri Lin 4H » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:31 pm

more covalent character means a more highly polarizable electron cloud that is more easily "pulled" toward the other atom (therefore the cloud is shared, sort of like the sharing of electrons in covalent bonds). In this case, Br has more electrons than F and is more highly polarizable, so it has more covalent character in a bond.

Prasanna Padmanabham 4I
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Ionic and Covalent Character

Postby Prasanna Padmanabham 4I » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:40 pm

So there is a progressive scale of bonds that ranges from ionic to covalent. For example, if two atoms with really different electron affinities share "electrons" sometimes, electrons might hang out with the atom with more electron affinity (like the Oxygen side of H2O being a bit more negative). In a sense, H2O isn't "covalent," because there is a little bit of "electron hogging" like in an ionic bond, but in H2O, the hydrogen and oxygen are bonded. With ionic bonds, although we talk about them as "donating" or "stealing" an electron, for some the change in charge causes the two ions to be attracted to each other, but the bond isn't like a covalent bond.

It would help if you thought about as a scale with the ionic end being where electrons are donated or taken and the covalent bond on the other end where electrons are shared equally.

So between C-F and C-Br, I would imagine that since F is one of the atoms with the most electron affinity, the C-F bond would be a bit more "ionic" IN COMPARISON to the C-Br bond.


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