Analysis of ionic compounds
Ionic compounds formed from ions. Ions are created when a metal loses electrons and a non-metal gains electrons. Ionic substances form giant ionic lattices [lattice: A lattice is a regular grid-like arrangement of atoms in a material. ] containing oppositely charged ions. They have high melting and boiling points, and conductconduct: To allow electricity, heat or other energy forms to pass through. electricity when melted or dissolved in water.
Ionic bonds form when a metal reacts with a non-metal. Metals form positive ions; non-metals form negative ions. Ionic bonds are the electrostatic [electrostatic: An electrostatic force is generated by differences in electric charge (ie positive and negative) between two particles. It can also refer to electricity at rest. ] forces of attraction between oppositely charged ions.
The oppositely charged ions are arranged in a regular way to form giant ionic lattices [lattice: A lattice is a regular grid-like arrangement of atoms in a material. ]. Ionic compounds [compound: A compound is a substance formed by the chemical union (involving bond formation) of two or more elements. ] often form crystals as a result. The illustration shows part of a sodium chloride (NaCl) ionic lattice.
|Sodium chloride, NaCl|
High melting point: 800ºC
Non-conductive in its solid state, but when dissolved in water or moltenmolten: Molten means reduced to liquid form by heating. It is mainly used to describe rock, glass or metal. NaCl will conduct electricity.
|Magnesium oxide, MgO|
Higher melting point than sodium chloride: around 2,800ºC. This is because its Mg2+ and O2- ions have a greater number of charges, so they form stronger ionic bonds than the Na+ and Cl- ions in sodium chloride.
Because magnesium oxide stays solid at such high temperatures, it remains non-conductive. It is used for high-temperature electrical insulation.
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