What Are Covalent Compounds

Ionic compounds are formed when metal atoms tend to attract non metal atoms. Electro negativity is a process in which an element tries to attract electrons and distracts their bonding with other elements. Metals do not like to attract electrons and hence depict low level of electro negativity whereas non metals display high level of electro negativities as they have strong tendency to attract electrons.

The major reason for electro negativity is octet rule which shows that elements always want similar number of electrons as compared to the noble gas configuration. The property of covalency is greater with like electro negativities. The comparison has been made since noble gases are stable in nature. When metals share electrons with non metals then usually formation of ionic compounds takes place because the metals do not favor attraction of electrons and so give electrons to non metals which always tend to share electrons.

Properties of Covalent Compounds

The covalent compounds have certain properties. Covalent compounds have generally less boiling and melting points as compared to ionic compounds. In the case of covalent compounds, breaking of bonds is not required because these compounds form separate molecules in which the atoms are tightly packed together whereas ionic compounds have high melting and boiling points because tremendous energy is needed for positive and negative charges which helps in formation of crystal to get separate from each other. One has to break all the bonds of ionic compounds in order to get them melt. Another significant property is that the covalent compounds are soft and easily squeezable in nature.

The main reason for the softness is low boiling and melting points of covalent compounds. The ionic compounds are very hard in nature because they help in formation of crystal together which makes them very hard and unmovable. The molecules of covalent compounds can comfortably make movement around each other. The covalent compounds can burn easily as compared to ionic compounds since they possess carbon and hydrogen atoms that combine to form carbon dioxide and water when given heat with oxygen gas. There are certain exceptions also. Covalent compounds do not produce electric current in water because they do not possess ions. Covalent compounds are not soluble in water. Many covalent compounds are non polar so they are not soluble in water. The naming of covalent compounds is much easier than ionic ones.

There are two types of covalent bonding: polar bonding with equal electron sharing and non-polar bonding with unequal electron sharing. There are certain exceptions also. The popular exception is with covalent compounds that they consist of neither carbon nor hydrogen. The covalent compounds are preferred more over ionic compounds because of their more sharing aptitude of electrons.