Do ionic compounds have intermolecular forces?

In summary, ionic compounds such as NaCl and K2O do not have intermolecular forces because they are held together by electrostatic forces instead. Metallic atoms, however, do have dispersion forces due to the presence of electrons. This is stated in the textbook by Tro, which mentions that all atoms and molecules have dispersion forces.
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Homework Statement


Do ionic compounds such as NaCl and K2O have intermolecular forces?

2. The attempt at a solution
I got stuck conceptually. NaCl and K2O are ionic compounds. Their basic unit is formula units. They are not molecular compounds. Ionic compounds are held together by electrostatic forces. So they don't have intermolecular forces?
 
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  • #2
Technically there is no such thing as a molecule of an ionic compound (unless we are talking about some exotic conditions, where they can be gaseous).
 
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  • #3
They don't have intermolecular forces. One more question: do metallic atoms have dispersion forces? In the textbook by Tro, "Since all atoms and molecules have electrons, they all have dispersion forces."
 

Related to Do ionic compounds have intermolecular forces?

1. What are intermolecular forces?

Intermolecular forces are the attractive or repulsive interactions between molecules. These forces determine the physical properties of substances, such as melting and boiling points, viscosity, and solubility.

2. How do ionic compounds differ from covalent compounds in terms of intermolecular forces?

Ionic compounds have much stronger intermolecular forces compared to covalent compounds. This is because ionic compounds are formed by the transfer of electrons between atoms, creating strong electrostatic attractions between the oppositely charged ions.

3. Do ionic compounds have London dispersion forces?

No, ionic compounds do not have London dispersion forces. These forces are only present in covalent compounds where there are temporary dipoles created by the uneven distribution of electrons.

4. Are hydrogen bonds present in ionic compounds?

No, hydrogen bonds are not present in ionic compounds. Hydrogen bonds occur when a hydrogen atom is bonded to a highly electronegative atom like oxygen, nitrogen, or fluorine. In ionic compounds, the bonds are between a metal and a nonmetal, so there is no hydrogen atom present.

5. How do intermolecular forces affect the properties of ionic compounds?

Strong intermolecular forces in ionic compounds result in high melting and boiling points, as well as a high degree of solubility in polar solvents. These compounds also tend to be brittle and have high lattice energies due to the strong forces holding the ions together in a crystal lattice structure.

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