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Ionic Compound V

May 25, 2013

Ternary Ionic Compound

The molecules which consist of opposite charged ions are known as ionic compounds. These compounds can be easily differentiated from other compounds by their high melting points, conduction nature, existence in solid state etc.  Cations are generally from s- and p-block elements sue to low ionization potential. Anions belong to p-block elements such as halogens and oxygen family. Remember that the physical and chemical properties of ions are completely different from the neutral atoms of the element. Overall an ionic-compound must contain opposite charged ions. So let’s try to answer this question; Is Sugar an Ionic Compound. No…It’s a covalent compound because it doesn’t consist of any ions in its molecule. The general formula of sugar is C12H22O11.

Let’s discuss some common examples of ionic compound. Most common examples of NaBr (sodium bromide), KBr (potassium bromide), NaCl (sodium chloride), NaF (sodium fluoride), KI (potassium iodide), KCl (potassium chloride), CaCl2 (calcium chloride), K2O (potassium oxide) and MgO (magnesium oxide).

Let’s have a look, how is an Ionic Compound Formed? These compounds are composed of ions which have opposite charges on each other. From the electrostatic model which based on an application of the charge principles, the opposite charges attract and similar charges repel.  The interaction of a positive and negative ion, like sodium and chloride in sodium chloride results such type of compounds.

But at the same time the positive part of cation repel the positive part of anion, therefore there is a balance between the force of attraction and the force of repulsion. This net balance of forces is known as lattice energy which released during the formation of an ionic-compound. Generally a metal lose electron to form metal ion (cation) and a non-metal accept electron to form anion. This transfer of one or more electrons from a metal onto a non-metal results the formation of these electrostatic compounds. The removal of electrons from metal required some energy called as ionization energy and addition of electron to non-metal release some energy known as electron affinity. Therefore the formation of ionic substance can be shown as below;

  • Energy + Metal Atom –> Metal (+) ion/Anion + e-
  • Non-metal Atom + e- –>Non-metal (-) ion/ Anion + energy
  • Cation + anion–> Ionic substance

The energy required to produce positive ions (ionization potential) is roughly balanced by the energy given off to produce negative ions (electron affinity). The energy released by the net force of attraction by the ions provides the overall stabilizing energy of the compound. The naming ionic compound is based on IUPAC rules only. The combination of one cation and one anion forms binary compound while the combination of a metal and a polyatomic ion by ionically bonded results a ternary ionic-compound such as sodium nitrate (NaNO3).


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