Formation of Hydronium ion (H3O+) – Coordinate Covalent Bond Example

How is the H3O+ ion formed?

Hydronium ion

Formation of Hydronium ion

When water (H2O) combines with H+ ion, results in the formation of hydronium ion through a coordinate covalent bond.

In H2O, Oxygen is a central atom having 6 electrons in its valence shell, 2 electrons are shared with 2 H atoms and 2 lone pair(unshared) electrons complete the valence shell configuration of water (H2O).

Due to the presence of lone pair electrons (unshared electron pair), it is electron-rich specie ( nucleophile)and can donate this electron pair to another atom(electrophile). Therefore H2O is a donor.

H2O molecule


A donor is electron-rich species and can donate the lone pair electron.

On the other hand, when a hydrogen atom loses its one valence shell electron results in an H+ ion(having no electron).


Acceptor is the electron-deficient species and needs electrons to complete their valence shell and becomes stable.

H+ ion formation

so to complete its valence shell ( duplet) H+ ion needs two electrons.Therefore H+ is an electron acceptor(electrophile).

When water molecule combines with H+ ion by the donation of lone pair electron from O-atom (in H2O) to H+ ion results in the formation of Hydronium ion, H3O+.

Check out Bond pair vs Lone pair ( in Urdu / Hindi)

Hydronium ion formation

Coordinate Covalent bond is a type of covalent bond that forms when one atom donates a pair of electrons (Nucleophile) to another atom (Electrophile).

A coordinate Covalent bond is also known as a Dative or Dipolar Bond.

Watch -> Coordinate Covalent Bond Definition , Examples ,Formation and Properties(in Urdu / Hindi)

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Also, Read !!!

How ions are formed (Cation vs Anion)

Ionic Bond

Covalent Bond

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