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Question on Ionic bonds and compounds

  1. Apr 30, 2005 #1
    Now obviously, ionic bonds are "weaker" than covalent bonds, but my question is that according to the attached image, you can't necessarily have crystals being formed in a covelant bond as you would in an ionic bond, right? And also, when an ionic bond occurs, what makes it possible for a crystal to form??

    In a NaCl crystal for example, why are the electrons of both Sodium and Chlorine equally attracted to other Na and Cl ions?? I mean, since they are attracted to each other (pretty loosely too i'm assuming), how come when other chlorine ions show up and more Na ions show up, why do they attract to each other and form these crystals? Shouldn't it be only a 1:1 ratio between them?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2005 #2
    hmmm i seem to be having a little bit of a problem with uploading the images.

    i think there's a bug or something on the forum..
    The attached images that were supposed to be up there:

    Attached Files:

  4. May 1, 2005 #3


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    In water, yes, depends on if the ionic compound in question will dissolve in water.

    Ionic compounds form certain crystal lattice arrangements for which lattice energy applies. It's a crystal in the sense of a continuous, long range pattern of molecular bonding.

    Try observing the third image to the right. It's an ordered arrangment of ions, one anion/cation interacts with a specific number of cation/anion to form solid crystals with a long range molecular pattern.

    no, note that each element is a charged ion, you may have learned from physics on the attraction of each of these ions to each other with the accumlation of the net potential energy of the system. One cation will exert an equal attractive force to all of the electrons within the system.
  5. May 1, 2005 #4


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    Why should the formation of covalent bonds hamper the formation of a crystal. You can have covalent crystals (diamond) just as easily as ionic ones (NaCl).

    The valence electron of each Na atom is equally attracted to each of the 6 neighboring atoms because :

    1. They (the neighboring Cl atoms) are all equally far from the Na atom, (cubic crystal structure)
    2. They are all identical (Cl) atoms, and
    3. Their relative orientations are identical - meaning no one neighboring atom is different from the others, so they should all attract the valence electron equally.

    This is extremely vague. Please be more precise. Who are "they" and "them" ?
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