types of bonds in chemistry

What are the Types of Bond in Chemistry?

There are few types of Bond in Chemistry which includes ionic , covalent, hydrogen bonding etc

Bonding is very important in Chemistry, compounds are formed via bonding.

What then is bonding?

Bonding is the combination of two or more elements either by transfer of electrons or sharing in order to attain a stable configuration.

There are basically two types of bonding

  1. Ionic bonding or Electrovalent bonding
  2. Covalent bonding ( ordinary covalent and co-ordinate or dative bonding)

However, there are still various types of intermolecular forces of attraction that exist between molecules.

We have metallic bonding, hydrogen bonding and Van der Waals forces.-dipole attractions.

Why exactly do atoms bond? Atoms bond purposely to attain stable configurations.

Types of bonds in Chemistry explained

  1. Ionic bonding /Electrovalent bonding :


Ionic bonding or Electrovalent bonding is the type of bonding that involves the transfer of electrons from the metallic atom to the non-metallic atom forming oppositely charged ions in the process.


           Ionic bonding in KCl

          Ionic bonding in CaCl2

           Ionic bonding in Al2O3

                 Characteristics of electrovalent compounds

  1. Electrovalent compounds have high melting and boiling point
  2. They are usually solids at room temperature
  3. They conduct electricity in molten or aqueous form
  4. They are soluble in water
  • Covalent bonding

Covalent bonding is the type of bonding that involves sharing of electrons among atoms in order to attain a stable configuration.

Covalent bonding is usually found among non-metals since they cannot transfer electrons.

Covalent bonding in Cl2

This is an example of single covalent bonding.

Covalent bonding in NH3

Covalent bonding in H2O

Covalent bonding in Oxygen

This is an example of double covalent bonding

Characteristics of covalent compounds

  1. Covalent compounds are usually volatile liquids or gases
  2. They are insoluble in water nut soluble in non-polar solvents
  3. They are non-conductors of heat and electricity
  4. They have low melting and boiling points

However, there are two types of covalent bonding, the one I talked about above is ordinary covalent bonding. The second type is Dative or coordinate covalent bonding.

Dative covalent bonding

This is the type of covalent bonding that involves sharing of electrons but in which only one of the participating atoms contributes the electron pair for sharing.

The other atom only comes in to share the electro pair contributed by the other atom.

Dative or co-ordinate type of bond in chemistry is mainly seen in molecules like ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) and ions like Ammonium ion (NH4+), hydroxonium ion (H3O+) etc

Like I mentioned before, there are forces of attraction that are till termed as bonds in several O level classes.

These forces of attraction include metallic bond, hydrogen bond and Van Der Waals forces of attraction.

It is important I say this; metallic bond, hydrogen bond and Van Der Waals force of attar on are weak bonds and intermolecular.

These forces originate from electrostatic attractions which are caused when opposite charges are close.

I quickly talk about the three weak types of bonds in chemistry.

Dative bonding/ Co-ordinate covalent bonding is quite different from ordinary covalent bonding

Dative Bonding /Co-ordinate Covalent BondingOrdinary covalent bonding
Only one atom contributes the electron pair for sharingEqual contribution of electrons by the participating atoms
Results mainly in moleculesResults mainly in ions

Metallic bond

Have you ever wondered why are metals have a high melting point or why are they strong?

The truth is that the strength of metals can be accounted for by the degree of the metallic bond they possess.

Do you that Aluminium is stronger than sodium but they are both metals, it is because the metallic bond in Aluminium is higher than the metallic bond in sodium.

I will not talk about melting and boiling points in full detail here because I have a post on Periodic table and periodicity in full.

However, Mercury is the only liquid metal and you should take note.

Illustration of Metallic bonding  

When metals come together, they tend to lose their electrons.

These electrons lost mean they are no longer in the right location which is orbit. The electrons become delocalized forming a sea of electrons.

Now, remember that the electrons are negatively charged and the centre of the atom which is the nucleus is positively charged.

The nucleus contains the protons and neutrons but the neutrons are neutral, so the protons are positively charged,

Actually, since the protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged, there will be these electrostatic attractions between the positively charged nuclei and the negatively charged electrons.

These electrostatic attractions are called Metallic bonding.

Metallic bonding in some metals

Hydrogen Bonding

Hydrogen bonding is another weak intermolecular force of attraction that is seen when hydrogen bonds with a highly electronegative element like fluorine, Oxygen and nitrogen.

Hydrogen bonding takes place in water, Hydrogen fluoride, ammonia and in some organic compounds like alkanols/alcohols and alkanoic acids or carboxylic acids.

Hydrogen bonding is responsible for the high bolting of some liquids like water, ethanol and the high solubility of these compounds.

Hydrogen bonding in some compounds

Van Der Waals forces

Van Der Waals force of attraction is more like the weakest force of attraction experienced. I will explain in just a moment.

Van Der Waals force occurs due to momentary distortion of electrons round the orbits of atoms

Van Der Waals Force of attraction is seen information of lattices in Graphite, iodine etc.

Please note that Van Der Waals Force occurs in iodine molecules, graphite layers, noble gases and even in Ammonium chloride.

The two main effects of Van Der Waals force of attraction is the formation of molecular lattices and liquefaction of gases.

There are different types of Van Der Waals forces which includes dipole-dipole attraction, induced dipole attraction and induced dipole-induced dipole attractions

Dipole-dipole attraction is a form of Van Der Waal’s forces are weak attractive forces cause by the attraction of positive ends of one polar molecule and the negative end of the polar molecule.

Induced dipole attraction is a weak attraction that results when a polar molecule induces a dipole (opposite ends of a molecule) in an atom,

The induced dipole attraction is also seen in a non-polar molecule by disturbing the arrangement of electrons.

The induced dipole-induced dipole attraction or London dispersion force is a temporary attractive force that originates when the electrons are in two adjacent atoms creating a temporary dipole..gases to liquids and freezing of liquids.

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