Before we begin, let's look at the different types of chemical bonding that exist between atoms. There are three known bonds in which atoms of different elements join together to form compounds. They are ionic bonding, covalent bonding, and metallic bonding.
In ionic bonding, electrons from the valence shell of one atom are transferred to the valence shell of an atom of another element. The first atom, which lost the electrons, is known as the cation while the atom, which gained the electrons, is known as the anion. The chemical bond that holds a cation and an anion together is called an ionic bond and is associated with the donation of electrons.
In covalent bonding, one or more pairs of electrons move close enough to the nuclei of two atoms so that they are attracted by the nuclei of both atoms. In other words, when two atoms come close enough to each other, the outer electrons are attracted by the nuclei of both atoms and the electrons are being shared. When electrons are shared between two atoms, they are in a lower state of energy than when electrons are not being shared. This type of bond is called a covalent bond and is associated with the sharing of electrons.
The third type of bonding, called metallic bonding, occurs only in pure metals. In this way, the atoms are bonded to one another rather than to the atoms of another element. Electrons flow freely through the metal and thus makes the metal a good conductor.
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