posted by Alex on .
In ionic bonding, an electron is transferred from one nucleus to another.
What I don't understand, is how this "bonds" the two atoms together. Why don't the two atoms just bounce away and float off after the electron transfer takes place?
When the electron is transferred (let's assume it is one electron that is transferred), the metal atom (for example, Na) is changed to an ion (Na^+) which carries a + charge and the non-metal atom (for example Cl) is changed to an ion (Cl^-) which carries a negative charge. This attraction of the + charge for the negative charge (and the reverse is true, too, of course) is the bond in an ionic bond. They don't bounce away from each other because of the attractive force between them.
Ah, makes sense. Thanks!