Properties of Ionic Compounds
When dealing with ionic bonds, metals will give up their electrons and nonmetals will accept the electrons forming a crystalline structure. An ionic bond is when the electrostatic forces (the force of attraction between a positive and a negative charge) hold ions together in ionic compounds (1 atom "steals" electrons from another atom). Ions held together by ionic bonds are called ionic compounds or salts. Next, ionic compounds (salts) have unique properties. The electrostatic force (positive and negative charges attract) are quite strong, so ionic bonds are strong. This bond strength is the cause of many of the properties of ionic compounds. For example, ionic compounds:
- have high melting/boiling points.
- are hard and brittle (they do not bend, they shatter).
- Easily dissolve in water because water is polar.
- When a molecule is polar, it means that part of the molecule has a negative charge, and part of the molecule has a positive charge.
- Conduct electricity when dissolved in water (aqueous solution).
- This occurs because ions are free to move about in solution