What are the general properties of ionic compounds?


These are the general properties of ionic compounds:

1. Since the attractive force between the positively and negatively charged ions is strong, the ionic compounds can be found in solid state and are hard.

2. On applying pressure, the ionic compounds can be broken into pieces as they are brittle.

3. The intermolecular force of attraction is high in ionic compounds and a large energy is required to overcome it. For this reason, ionic compounds have high melting and boiling points.

4. Ionic compounds are soluble in water because the water molecules orient in a particular manner around the ions separated by the dissociation process. Because of this, a new force of attraction is established between the ion and the surrounding water molecules. This replaces the original intermolecular attraction; and aqueous solutions of ionic compounds are formed. Ionic compounds are however, insoluble in solvents like kerosene and petrol. This is because unlike water a new attractive force can not be established in these solvents.

5. In solid state, the ionic compounds cannot conduct electricity and the ions cannot leave their places. However, in their fuse/ molten state ionic compounds can conduct electricity, because in this state they contain the dissociated ions. On passing current through the solution the ions move towards the oppositely charged electrodes. Because of the electrical conductivity in fused and dissolved state the ionic compounds are called electrolytes.

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