How Ionic Compounds are formed?
An Ionic bond is formed when one of the atoms can donate electrons to achieve the inert gas electron configuration and the other atom needs electrons to achieve the inert gas electron configuration. That is the chemical bond formed by the transfer of electrons from one atom to another. Ionic bond is also known as electrovalent bond and compounds composed of Ionic bonds are called ionic compounds. Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that ions form ionic compounds.
When a metal reacts with a non-metal, then they form ionic bond and the compound is called the ionic compound. As a result of reaction between metal and non-metal, they are bonded with electrostatic force of attraction with each other; such bonds are called chemical bonds.
For an example:
Formation of Sodium Chloride
Sodium is a metal whereas chlorine is a non-metal. Sodium metal reacts with chlorine to form an ionic compound, sodium chloride. Now we will see how sodium chloride is formed and what changes takes place in the electronic arrangements of sodium and chlorine atoms in the formation of this compound.
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The atomic number of sodium is 11, so its electronic configuration is 2,8,1. Sodium has only one electron in its outermost shell. So, sodium atom will donate one electron to chlorine atom and forms a sodium ion i.e. Na+.
On the other side chlorine atomic number is 17, its electronic configuration is 2,8,7. Therefore, chlorine atom has 7 electrons in the outermost shell and needs one more electron to achieve stable electronic configuration or inert gas configuration. So, a chlorine atom takes one electron from sodium atom and forms a negatively charged chloride ion i.e. Cl-.
When sodium reacts with chlorine, it transfers its one outermost electron to the chlorine atom. By losing one electron, sodium atom forms a sodium ion (Na+) and by gaining one electron, the chlorine atom forms a chloride ion (Cl-).
Sodium ion has positive charge whereas chloride ions have negative charge. Due to opposite charges, sodium ion and chloride ions are held together by the electrostatic force of attraction to form sodium chloride, Na+Cl- or NaCl.
In sodium chloride compound, the electronic configuration of sodium is 2,8 which resembles with neon inert gas and the electronic configuration of chloride ion is 2,8,8 which resembles with argon inert gas. Due to this, sodium chloride compound is very stable. Like this calcium chloride, calcium bromide, potassium chloride etc ionic compounds are formed.
Thus, sodium chloride is an ionic compound and contains ionic bonds. In the formation of ionic bonds, the reacting atoms achieve the inert gas electronic configuration by the transfer of electrons.