Chemical Bonds

Definition - What does Chemical Bonds mean?

Chemical bonds are connections or interactions between atoms, marking the foundation of molecules which, in the end, form solid compound structures. Chemical bonds are formed by the joining of two or more atoms, which is determined by the sharing of electrons (covalent bonds) and the transfer of electrons (ionic bonds). They help the atoms to achieve a stable electron configuration, which is usually an octet (eight electrons in the outer shell). Knowledge of chemical bonds helps in determining whether the breaking of these bonds causes either exothermic or endothermic reactions.

Corrosionpedia explains Chemical Bonds

Chemical bonds are generally classified into:

  • Covalent chemical bonds
  • Ionic chemical bonds
  • Other (hydrogen, van der Waals and metallic) chemical bonds

Chemical bonds are based on the octet rule. This rule assigns orbital energy levels surrounding the nuclei of an atom, thus these surrounding electron shells are the habitats of the electrons. The electrons in the outermost shell, also known as the valence shell, are essential elements in determining the type of chemical bond to be formed; the valence can be negative (have excess electrons) or positive (lacks some electrons) depending on its octet.

Covalent chemical bonds are formed when two atoms of different elements share a pair or pairs of valence electrons. This pair is availed when each of the atoms contributes an electron and thus overlapping each others' outermost shell to form a stable electron configuration. The ionic chemical bonds are formed when electrons are transferred from one atom to anther, thus forming an ionic compound molecule. The main aim of these chemical bonds is to attain a complete octet by either sharing or transferring outermost shell electrons.

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