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Atomic Structure

What are the Properties of Ionic Compounds?

When metals react with non-metals
they form an ionic compound.

Ions have a charge because
electrons are lost or gained in forming an ionic bond.
An ionic compound has strong forces of attraction
between the ions in all directions and forms a giant structure.

Ionic bonds are strong.
All ionic compounds are solid at room temperature.
Solid ionic compounds do not conduct electricity
because the ions are not free to move.

If the solid is heated until it melts, the liquid will
conduct electricity because the ions are mobile
(they can move). When electricity flows through
an ionic compound the ions become separated and
turned into elements. This happens during electrolysis.

If the ionic solid is dissolved in a solvent
(for example water), the particles of the solvent overcome
the force of attraction between the ions
and separate the ions from each other to form a solution.
The solution will conduct electricity
because the ions are now free to move.
The liquid that conducts electricity is called the electrolyte.

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