To explain the physical properties of ionic compounds.

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The number listed below shows simply a couple of examples of the shade and brilliance of naturally arising ionic crystals. The consistent and also orderly setup of ions in the crystal lattice is responsible for the miscellaneous shapes of these crystals, while transition steel ions offer climb to the colors.

Figure 3.6.1: In nature, the ordered plan of ionic solids offers rise to beautiful crystals. (A) Amethyst - a type of quartz, SiO2, whose purple shade comes from iron ions. (B) Cinnabar - the main ore of mercury is mercury (II) sulfide, HgS (C) Azurite - a copper mineral, Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2. (D) Vanadinite - the primary ore of vanadium, Pb3(VO4)3Cl.

Melting Points

Due to the fact that of the many type of simultaneous attractions between cations and anions that occur, ionic crystal lattices are extremely solid. The procedure of melting an ionic compound calls for the addition of huge quantities of energy in order to break all of the ionic bonds in the crystal. For instance, sodium chloride has a melting temperature of about 800oC. As a comparichild, the molecular compound water melts at 0 °C.


Ionic compounds are primarily hard, yet brittle. Why? It takes a huge amount of mechanical pressure, such as striking a crystal through a hammer, to force one layer of ions to change relative to its neighbor. However before, once that happens, it brings ions of the very same charge beside each various other (view below). The repulsive pressures in between like-charged ions cause the crystal to shatter. When an ionic crystal breaks, it tends to carry out so along smooth planes because of the continual setup of the ions.

Figure 3.6.2: (A) The sodium chloride crystal is shown in 2 dimensions. (B) When struck by a hammer, the negatively-charged chloride ions are forced near each other and also the repulsive force reasons the crystal to shatter.


Anvarious other characteristic building of ionic compounds is their electrical conductivity. The number below reflects 3 experiments in which two electrodes that are associated to a light bulb are put in beakers containing three various substances.

Figure 3.6.3: (A) Distilled water does not conduct power. (B) A solid ionic compound additionally does not conduct. (C) A water solution of an ionic compound conducts electrical power well.

In the first beaker, distilled water does not conduct a existing because water is a molecular compound. In the second beaker, solid sodium chloride likewise does not conduct a current. In spite of being ionic and for this reason written of charged particles, the solid crystal lattice does not allow the ions to relocate in between the electrodes. Mobile charged pshort articles are compelled for the circuit to be finish and the light bulb to light up. In the third beaker, the NaCl has actually been liquified right into the distilled water. Now the crystal lattice has been broken acomponent and also the individual positive and negative ions have the right to move. Cations move to one electrode, while anions relocate to the various other, allowing electrical energy to flow (view number below). Melting an ionic compound also frees the ions to conduct a current. Ionic compounds conduct an electric current once melted or dissolved in water. The dissolution of ionic compounds in water will certainly be discussed in Section 9.3.

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Figure 3.6.4: In an ionic solution, the A+ ions move toward the negative electrode, while the B− ions migrate toward the positive electrode.

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