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KOH. the structural formula for it

  1. Jun 30, 2011 #1
    Is it valid to express KOH in this way (see attached image)?

    I wasn't sure if structural formulae are applicable to ions.

    The single bond to me denotes a covalent bond, which isn't applicable to the ionic compound KOH, is it?

    Attached Files:

    • KOH.png
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  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2011 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    That's how these things are sometimes shown at the beginning of the chemistry course, but - as you correctly guessed - they don't make any sense for ionic compounds.
  4. Jul 1, 2011 #3
    So a single bond represented by a single line is not applicable to ionic compounds?

    What about "structural formulae", are they not appropriate for covalent compounds?

    Can you explain please?
  5. Jul 1, 2011 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Line suggests kind of directionality of the bond - ions bonds are (in general) not directional. That's not exactly true, as for example OH- is a dipole, so in KOH - given chance - it will tend to put negatively charged oxygen closer to positively charged potassium; in a way that's kind of directionality.

    OTOH covalent bonds are directional and they are responsible for molecule shape, so drawing them as lines makes sense (the only problem being - they are usually drawn on the flat surface, while molecules are not necessarily flat).
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