Chemical compounds that include both negative as well as positive ions are called ionic compounds. Electrostatic forces, the attractive forces between charges of different poles, are responsible for keeping these ions together. When a metal atom gives up an electron to a nonmetal atom, an ionic compound is created. In this process, atoms of metal and nonmetal both acquire positive charges, making the former an ion and the latter a negatively charged ion.
In general, ionic compounds have elevated boiling and melting temperatures, remaining solid at normal temperatures. This is because it takes a great deal of effort to overcome the electrostatic forces holding the ions together. As the electrostatic interactions between ions are reduced in the water-based molecules, ionic compounds are often soluble in water as well.
Almost all of the minerals and rocks that make up the planet's crust are made up of ions, both positive and negative, that are bound together by electrostatic repulsion and attraction. An ionic compound is a mixture of positive and negative ions that has no net electric charge. Certain ionic chemicals, like sodium chloride, are quite recognizable to you (NaCl). There are as many positive sodium ions (Na+) as there are negative chloride ions (Cl-) in a sodium chloride crystal.