Ionic Bonding

By Charles Xie

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Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bonding between oppositely charged ions. It is a basic type of interactomic interaction along with covalent bonding, metallic bonding, and van der Waals bonding. In the following window, you can play with a molecular dynamics simulation with a small salt crystal, which consists of 30 Na+ and 30 Cl- ions interacting through the Coulomb force. Two neon atoms are added to the surface of the salt crystal for you to compare the difference between the effect of ionic bonding and the effect of van der Waals bonding (the neon atoms only interace with each other through the latter).

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The simulation shows that these ions form a stable cubic lattice structure. Without the Coulomb force between the positively charged Na atoms and the negatively charged Cl atoms, the formation of this lattice would not have been possible.

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