When an ionic bond dissolves in water, it breaks down into individual ions that can move freely through the solvent. This process happens because water is a polar molecule, meaning its molecules have a positive and negative end. The positive end of a water molecule attracts the negative ions from an ionic bond, while the negative end of a water molecule attracts the positive ions from an ionic bond.
Polar and Non Polar Molecules
Molecule that has a partial charge. For example, water is polar because the oxygen atom in the center of the H2O molecule has more protons than electrons causing it to have a partial or induced negative charge making it very reactive or polar. The other side of the molecule has less protons than electrons giving it a partial or induced positive charge making it also reactive, which causes the ends of polar molecules to attract each other.
Molecule that has an even distribution of protons and electrons causing either no polarity or just a very subtle pull between sides of the molecule. An example of this is Carbon dioxide (CO2) because there is a very even distribution of the atoms in the molecule.
What Happens When ionic bonds dissolve in water?
The ionic bond breaks down when it enters a polar solvent, such as water, because each ion has an opposite charge to other ions in the solution and polarity from water’s molecules. This enables the ions to separate from one another. In addition, both positive and negative ions are surrounded by water molecules, which minimizes the energy needed to rearrange their electrons.
Water is an example of a polar solvent because it has two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. This creates a slightly positive side and slightly negative side in each molecule so they can interact with other molecules’ ions or electrons very easily.
During chemical reactions, ions are joined together to form compounds. When ionic bonds dissolve in water, each ion may be part of a compound or just loosely bound to other ions in the solution. An example of when an ion dissolves in water is when table salt (NaCl) dissolves in water.
Sodium chloride breaks apart into sodium ions (Na+) and chloride ions (Cl-). Overall, the positive sodium ion is surrounded by water molecules while the negative chloride ion is surrounded by water molecules. The electrons of these bonds are arranged so there is less potential energy, which allows the ions to break away.