[Solved]- Covalent Bond Stronger than an Ionic Bond?-A Complete Guide

Covalent bond stronger than an ionic bond

Whenever a word bond to hear it means to tie something together. Chemical means we cannot separate (irreversible) by physical means. There is an attractive force that keeps two atoms together in a molecule. In the formation of molecules, only electrons present in the outermost shell or valence shell of the atom normally participate.

The electrons belonging to the inner energy shell are mostly not involved in the formation of the bond. Atoms may attain stable electronic configuration in three different ways by losing, gaining, or by sharing electrons. Ionic and Covalent bonds form to achieve: Minimum Energy and Maximum Stability.

Ionic bonds are stronger than covalent bonds. The reason because in an ionic bond, there is a complete transference of one or more electrons from one atom to another to complete octets. During complete transference, one losses electrons become positive, and the other gains electrons achieve negative, thus forms huge electrostatic forces of attraction. Whereas, in covalent, sharing of electrons between two similar or different atoms takes place. Only a partial charge develops on both of the atoms. So, that is why a covalent bond is not stronger than an ionic bond.

Who is stronger a covalent or ionic bond

As I said to you before, The formation of bonds between atoms takes place in many ways in response to the electronic configuration of the outermost shell of the combining atoms. When it comes to ionic and covalent comparisons, Ionic bonds are stronger than covalent. This can be easily identified through the change in important characteristics (behavior) of both ionic as well as covalent but with a few exceptions.

Compare and Contrast Ionic and Covalent Bonds

Ionic BondCovalent Bond
It is generally formed of the metals and nonmetals.The bond is formed between the two nonmetals.
The metal atom loses one or more electrons present in its valence shell and these electrons accept by the nonmetallic atom. Each combining atom must contribute at least one electron to the shared pair.
One of the species is cation and the other is an anion. By losing electrons, the metal atom changes to a (positive ion) cation. Similarly, the nonmetal atom gaining the electrons, get a change to a (negative Ion) anion. The oppositely charged ions attract each other. The combining atoms mutually contribute one, two or three electrons depending upon their requirement the bond formed. This leads the formation of single double and triple bond. Double and triple bond are not stronger than ionic bond as there is sharing of electrons.
 Ionic bond possible only when one of the species must have low ionization energy and the other should have high electron affinity. The electronegativity difference between the two atoms should be less.

Ionic Bond Characteristics

  1. Crystal structure: Ionic compounds are crystalline solids in which ions are arranged in a certain definite pattern to form a crystal lattice. For example, in case of sodium chloride, each sodium ion is surrounded by six chloride ions and each chloride ion by six sodium ions, thus giving rise to a three-dimensional crystal structure.
  2. Non-directional character: In ionic compounds, the oppositely charged ions are held together by the electrostatic force of attraction. As a charge is distributed symmetrically around the ion. So ionic bond has no direction, each cation is surrounded by a number of anions and vice versa.
  3. High melting point and boiling point: Since the ions are held together by a strong electrostatic force of attraction, a large amount of energy is required to separate the ions. So ionic compounds have a high melting point and boiling point.
  4. Electrical conductance: Since the ionic compounds ionize in a molten state or in aqueous Solutions, they conduct electricity in solution or in a fused state. However, they do not conduct electricity in solid-state.
  5. Ionic reaction: The reactions of ionic compounds are the reactions of their ions which are very fast.

Covalent Bond Characteristics

  1. Physical State: Unlike ionic compounds (which generally exist as solids), the covalent compounds exist in all the three states, viz, solid, liquid and gaseous.
  2. Crystal Structure: They usually consist of individual molecules rather than crystalline giant structures.
  3. Electrical conductivity: Since there are no free ions in covalent compounds to conduct electricity, they are bad conductors of electricity. These are nonelectrolytes.
  4. Melting and Boiling Points. Covalent compounds have low melting and boiling points because the molecules in covalent compounds are held together less rigidly (by weak van der Waal’s forces), than in the case of ionic compounds.
  5. Non-ionic reactions: Since these compounds like CH3Cl or CCI4 are molecular in nature and not ionic, their reactions are molecular and proceed at a much slower rate than those of ionic compounds.
  6. Directional Character and Isomerism: The covalent bond has a directional character, unlike electrovalent bonds. Due to a directional character of the bond, these molecules show isomerism i.e. one molecular formula may represent two or more than two structural formulae called isomers and this phenomenon is called isomerism.

are covalent bonds stronger than ionic bonds in water?

Ionic bond in water splits and gets separated thus no longer a stronger bond. It turns into ions while covalent remain non-soluble in water.

When an ionic compound is dissolved in water, the force of attraction between ions is weakened and thus the ionic compound splits into ions. In other words, ionization of the compound takes place. Whereas, Covalent compounds are generally soluble in organic (non-polar or weakly polar) solvents but insoluble in water and other polar solvents.

is an ionic bond stronger than a nonpolar covalent bond?

Ionic bonds are stronger than a nonpolar covalent bond like CH4, as they belong to a covalent family. However, “Like dissolves like” is the principle behind the solubility of a compound. Ionic compounds are usually soluble in polar solvents like water but insoluble in non-polar solvents like benzene and ether.

Similarities Between Ionic and Covalent Compounds

The similarity between ionic and covalent only exists in exceptions. Ionic Compounds are generally hard. Similarly diamond is a hard solid like ionic compounds. Ionic compounds are the good conductor of electricity. An exception of graphite in a covalent bond is also a good conductor of electricity.

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