The tendency of an atom to attract electrons is electron affinity.
- Metals generally have a low electron affinity.
- Nonmetals generally have a high electron affinity.
Electron affinity determines the type of bond formed between atoms.
Ionic bonds - electrons are transferred between atoms.
- One atom gains electrons while another atom loses electrons.
- The atoms become ions - one with a positive charge, the other with a negative charge.
- The force of attraction between these opposite charges holds the ions together in an ionic bond.
- Ionization - the process of removing an electron from an atom to form an ion.
- Ionization energy - the energy needed to remove an electron from an atom.