An Ionic bond can be formed after two or more atoms give up (or gain) electrons, so as to become ions. Ions of opposite charge will attract one another, thus creating an ionic bond. Such bonds are stronger than hydrogen bonds, but weaker than covalent bonds.
|The diagram above shows the electron configurations of lithium and fluorine. Note that litium has one electron in its outer shell. This electron is held rather loosely (ionisation energy ?). Note also that fluorine has 7 electrons in its outer shell. If the electron moves from lithium to fluorine each ion acquires the configuration of a noble gas. The bonding energy (from the electrostatic attraction of the two oppositely charged ions) is large enough (negative value) that the overall bonded state energy is lower than the unbonded state.||Impression of two ions (for example [Na]+ and [Cl]-) forming an ionic bond. Electron orbitals generally do not overlap (ie. molecular orbitals are not formed), because each of the ions reached the lowest energy state, and the bond is based only (ideally) on the electrostatic interactions between positive and negative ions.|