Ionic vs Covalent: Difference and Comparison

Science in our daily life contains a lot of aspects. Everything we see with our naked eyes is formed by billions of atoms and molecules.

In the language of Chemistry, the process by which atoms come into each other contact and form objects is called chemical bonding.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ionic bonds form when atoms transfer electrons, creating charged ions that attract each other, while covalent bonds involve atoms sharing electrons, resulting in no net charge.
  2. Ionic compounds exhibit high melting and boiling points due to the strong electrostatic forces between ions. In contrast, covalent compounds have lower melting and boiling points due to weaker intermolecular forces.
  3. Covalent compounds can dissolve in various polar solvents, but ionic compounds dissolve more readily in polar solvents like water.

Ionic vs Covalent 

The difference between Ionic and Covalent is that while both of these are chemical bonding processes, the former refers to the bonding in which an atom attracts those atoms which are opposite to its attraction force. While the latter refers to a bonding in which two non-metals share their electrons equally without one having to lose its electrons. 

Ionic vs Covalent

Ionic bonding refers to a chemical process precisely in which two ions that are charged in an opposite manner join with each other to form a compound.

While on the other side, Covalent bonding occurs between nonmetals precisely. It does not require attraction between opposite ions but rather a bonding between equally charged ions.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIonic  Covalent 
Meaning  It a chemical bonding process takes place between ions having opposite attraction charge. It is a chemical bonding process that takes place between ions having compatibility of sharing electrons. 
Occurs Between  Metals and nonmetals. Nonmetals  
State  It exists only in the solid position. It exists in solid, gas, and liquid, all three states.  
Melting Point This bond melts at a very high melting point. This bond melts at a comparatively low melting point. 
Boiling point  This bond melts at a very high boiling point. This bond melts at a very low melting point. 
Conduction of Electricity These bonds can conduct electricity. These bonds cannot conduct electricity. 
Availability  Less common More common  
Formed due to When two oppositely charged ions that are compatible with one another join together, this bond is created. It results in the loss of electrons by one and the gain of electrons by the other. This bond is not based upon the transfer of electrons but the sharing of electrons rather. It does not cause any loss or gain of electrons in any of the joining ions.   

What is Ionic? 

Ionic refers to the process of chemical bonding or joining of two atoms in order to give birth to a new compound or object.

In this process, two atoms come together in one place, and the requirement is that these two should have a different and opposite electric charge in them to finalize this process.   

One atom that has a positive charge is popularly known as metal. It donates some of its electrons to the other atom, which contains a negative charge and is termed nonmetal.

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A popular example given of this bond is table salt. It is made up of sodium and chlorine- 

  • Sodium contains 11 protons and 11 electrons. One electron of this atom is present in its outer cycle, and it carries a positive charge.¬†¬†
  • Chlorine contains 17 protons and 17 electrons and has a negative charge.¬†
  • After bonding, sodium donates its outer electron to Chlorine.¬†¬†

What is Covalent? 

Covalent is just another important process of chemical bonding that takes place to form new compounds and substances.

It does not need a positive and negative charge in the participating atoms, and that is why it only joins nonmetals (atoms having a negative charge).

A very famous example of this bond is Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) 

  • Here the Chlorine has 7 atoms in its outer perimeter¬†¬†
  • while Hydrogen has 1 Electron.¬†
  • These two react together and combine into a perfectly balanced molecule.¬†¬†

Main Differences Between Ionic and Covalent 

  1. Ionic can be seen only in solid-state, while Covalent can be seen in all three states of matter.  
  2. Ionic is less likely to take place and is not very common, while Covalent has a high possibility to take place and is very common. 
Difference Between Ionic and Covalent

Last Updated : 23 July, 2023

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25 thoughts on ‚ÄúIonic vs Covalent: Difference and Comparison‚ÄĚ

  1. A very comprehensive and informative article, thank you. Even though I know these concepts, I appreciate how well the ideas were described here.


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