Drawing and Reading Ionic Bonding Diagrams – GCSE Chemistry Revision (AQA Additional Science – Double and Triple)

But…

  • Yes, I know – how am I supposed to do a post about drawing diagrams, when I don’t even have any diagrams… well, I’ll do my best
  • To show bonding, we use dot and cross diagrams
  • To draw an atom, put the element’s chemical symbol in the middle (Na for sodium, for example)
  • Now draw circles around it, to represent the electron shells
  • Since this is bonding, you need to draw two atoms, so do the same for the second atom

The Electrons

  • Now start to fill in the electrons – on one atom you should use dots to represent electrons, and on the other you should use crosses
  • Remember, the first shell holds two electrons, then the maximum is eight (for a while, anyway – it’s enough for this course)
  • Then, using your knowledge of ionic bonding, decide what electron moves where and draw an arrow to the knee draw an arrow to show the path it takes
  • You should have two diagrams, showing the electronic structures of both atoms, and an arrow showing the electron that is transferred
  • Write the electronic structure in brackets under the diagram, like this: (2,8,2)  – Magnesium, for example
  • Sometimes, when people are feeling lazy, they deliberately ignore the inner electron shells and only draw the outer one… I have no idea whether you drop marks for this

Drawing the Ions

  • So after the elements have reacted and bonded ionically, they are now ions
  • You often have to draw or interpret these diagrams
  • Basically they’re the same, but they show the ions – if the first diagram was a ‘before’ shot, this is the photo taken after
  • Once again, you put the chemical symbol in the middle to represent the nucleus, then draw the electronic structure – but there are a few differences
  • This time, you draw the electron that has moved in its new place it is in AFTER it has moved
  • So you leave that electron out of the atom it came from and draw it in place in the atom that gained it
  • Actually, these are ions now, since they’ve reacted, so to show this you put massive square brackets around the diagram, like this [Diagram]
  • You also have to show the charge – so on the right of the square brackets you put + or –
  • If it’s a double positive charge, you’d put 2+ (I’m pretty sure it’s 2+ not +2)
  • When you write the electronic structure under the diagram that also has to be in square brackets and show the charge next to it
  • Make sure its the up-to-date electronic structure as it would be after the reaction (so it has a nice full outer shell)
  • Example: a magnesium ion’s electronic structure is [2,8] 2+
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About Matt

I like writing, filmmaking, programming and gaming, and prefer creating media to consuming it. On the topic of consumption, I'm also a big fan of eating.
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