What Are Ionic Bonds?


Quick Answer

A bond between two charged ions with different charges is called an ionic bond. Most cases of ionic bonds are between a positive metal atom and a negative nonmetal ion. It is also possible for two complex molecular ions to form an ionic bond with each other.

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Full Answer

When a pair of oppositely charged ions share an electron roughly equally, they are said to have a covalent bond to each other. In theory, an ionic bond occurs when one ion donates an outer electron to the cation, but this is impossible. In reality, even atoms with an ionic bond share electrons but to a much smaller degree than a typical covalent bond.

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