Covalent Bond Character

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Ashley Lopez 3J
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Covalent Bond Character

Postby Ashley Lopez 3J » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:28 pm

I'm still confused about what it means when an ionic bond has some covalent bond character. The professor talked about it, but can someone please explain what this means and how it works.

Chanel Mao 3D
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Re: Covalent Bond Character

Postby Chanel Mao 3D » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:34 pm

Hi! In a covalent bond, the electrons are shared (unlike ionic bonds in which oppositely charged ions attract each other). However, in an ionic bond, the positively charged ion pulls and slightly the distorts the negatively charged ion. Sometimes the two ions overlap - the place where they overlap result in a sharing of electrons, which is a characteristic of covalent bonding. I hoped this helped!

Hannah Lechtzin 1K
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Re: Covalent Bond Character

Postby Hannah Lechtzin 1K » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:37 pm

Ionic bond character means that two atoms exhibit a slight positive or slight negative charge and are therefore similar to an ionic bond. This is because ionic bonds form based on the attraction of two molecules with a negative and positive charge. Covalent character demonstrates how an ionic bond can be similar to a covalent bond. When an atom is highly polarizing it can cause a highly polarizable (larger atom with more electrons) to become highly attracted to it. This makes the ionic bond hard to separate, which we denote as having high covalent character.

Kelly Ha 1K
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Re: Covalent Bond Character

Postby Kelly Ha 1K » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:42 pm

The cation within the ionic bond exerts an electrostatic attraction on the electrons surrounding the anion. This force causes the anion's electrons to be pulled into the bonding region between the two atoms, distorting the anion's electron cloud density. The electrostatic attraction pulls the anion's electrons toward the cation in a shared bonding region, resulting in the ionic bond having some covalent character. An example Dr. Lavelle used in his lecture was with Na+ and Cl- which demonstrates this concept well.

Aydin Karatas 1F
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Re: Covalent Bond Character

Postby Aydin Karatas 1F » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:46 pm

No ionic bond is purely ionic. There are some covalent characteristics present. This would include electron sharing and insolubility in water. Ionic compounds with highly polarizable anions (the electron cloud of the anion can be easily distorted) or cations that have high polarizing power (can more easily distort the electron cloud of an anion) show more covalent character because this distorted electron cloud means more electrons end up being shared as in a covalent bond. Dr. Lavelle gave the example of silver halides (AgF, Ag, Cl, AgBr, AgI) in lecture, were AgF is the most ionic while AgI is the most covalent. This is because Iodine is a much larger atom with a lower electronegativity compared to Fluorine. Thus, Iodine has a harder time maintaining its electron cloud.

Hope this helps.

Thomas Gimeno
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Re: Covalent Bond Character

Postby Thomas Gimeno » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:54 pm

Generally we think of ionic bonds being strictly one atom giving an electron to another atom and covalent bonds as two atoms sharing two electrons equally. This is untrue because in reality the vast majority of bonds have electrons shared a little bit. The covalent character is a way of describing how much the electrons are shared.

If it is nonpolar covalent then they are shared either equally or very close to equally: very high covalent character
if it is polar covalent then the electrons are shared somewhat unusually: pretty high covalent character
if it is ionic then one atom pulls electrons significantly more than the other one does and if you calculate the difference between how hard either atom pulls on electrons you can determine how much covalent character it has. The term for how hard an atom pulls on the electrons is known as electronegativity and if there is a difference of 2 in electronegativity between the two atoms then it is considered an ionic bond. The higher the difference is the more unequally the electrons are shared and the less covalent character the bond has.

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Re: Covalent Bond Character

Postby Gustavo_Chavez_1K » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:39 pm

So essentially Dr. Lavelle was trying to touch up on the fact that ionic bonds form between two ions of opposite charges. So instead of basically sharing electrons as in a covalent bond, ionic bonds happen when an ion essentially is taking an electron from another ion. This force causes the electrons to be pulled into a bonding region. This bonding region is an overlap between the anion and cation and so presents covalent bond character as electrons are basically being shared there.

Nicole Bruno Dis 1B
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Re: Covalent Bond Character

Postby Nicole Bruno Dis 1B » Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:57 pm

Ionic bonding can still have covalent character where electrons are shared more equally between two atoms. Even if there is covalent character, the ionic character has to be more prevalent for ionic bonding to occur. This means that there has to be greater electronegativity and thus more polarity.

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