Structure of Ionic Compounds
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Why do ionic compounds have high melting and boiling points?
A large amount of energy is required to break the strong electrostatic forces that hold the oppositely charged ions together in the solid lattice.
Explain the different electrical conductivities of an ionic compound when solid, molten and aqueous.
When solid the ions have a fixed position in the giant ionic lattice. As the ions are unable to move, the solid cannot conduct electricity.
When molten or aqueous, the ions have broken free from the lattice and are able to move and conduct electricity.
Explain why water is a good solvent for ionic compounds.
Water has polar molecules which attract the ions in an ionic lattice. This attraction weakens the ionic bonds and the ions are pulled free from the lattice. Eventually the ions become surrounded by water molecules.
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