5 Properties of Ionic Compounds

Properties ionic compounds

What is an ionic compound

An ionic compound is formed by electrostatic attraction between positively charged ions and negatively charged ions. Usually, positively charged ions called cations are metals and negatively charged ions called anions are non-metals.

The bond formed between cation and anion is an ionic bond and shows some special properties.

Properties of Ionic Compounds

salt ionic compound

Hard and brittle – In ionic compounds, cations and anions are held together by the strong force of attraction. So it is hard to break the ionic bond, making the compounds hard. But also they are brittle, break easily.

Consider a metal if you apply some force, it undergoes deformation plastically because the breaking of metallic bonds is easier. But on another hand, ionic bonds are stronger and difficult to break.
If you apply a force to ionic compounds, layers of ionic compounds shift slightly. Then ions of the same charges come together results in a repulsive force. This is responsible for brittleness of ionic compounds.

Read also Properties of organic compounds

High melting and boiling point – Since anions and cations in ionic compounds are held together by the strong force of attraction. A lot of energy is required to break a strong ionic bond hence ionic compounds have high melting and boiling point.

Conductivity – Ionic compounds contain charged ions but usually don’t conduct electricity. Because for the conduction of electricity, the mobility of charged ions is required. In a molten state, ionic compounds conduct electricity.

Also solutions of ionic compounds in water conduct electricity. Because charged ions get dissociated into the water and available for conduction of electricity.

Solid at room temperature – Ionic compounds are solid at room temperature. Since ions in compounds are held together by strong force, bonds are hard to break easily.
Also, they are tightly packed together. The strength of bonds is more than the kinetic energy of the bond at room temperature. That’s why they are solid at room temperature.
Stability – Ionic compounds are relatively stable due to strong bonds because a large amount of energy to break the bonds. In the formation of ionic compounds, cations become stable by completely losing an electron. also, anions become stable by accepting electrons. hence compound formed is relatively stable in nature.

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