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How is PbBr2 an ionic compound?

  1. Dec 23, 2015 #1
    I'm studying electrolysis with ionic compound and the example refers to PbBr2
    However, I'm confused as to why this would ever be a substance because a Pb atom has 4 electrons in its outer shell while a Br atom has 7 electrons in its outer shell. If the two Br atoms were to gain an electron each so they both have full outer shells then the Pb atom wouldn't have a full outer shell because it now has 2 electrons in its outer shell..
    I thought atoms only bonded if they can get full outer shells..
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2015 #2
  4. Dec 23, 2015 #3


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    Like a lot of metallic elements, lead is multi-valent. In the +2 oxidation state, the compounds which lead forms are ionic in nature; in the +4 state, primarily covalent.


    In general, the chemistry of metallic elements like lead and iron is more complex than the chemistry of the alkali metals, for example.

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