What is an Ionic Solid Apex

What is an Ionic Solid Apex.

Have you always heard of the old wife’s tale that spilling salt on the tabular array is bad luck, and you lot must toss a compression of salt over your shoulder for practiced luck? Well, the table salt (NaCl) that’s thrown is known equally an
ionic solid, and luckily we will explore what that means all without any table salt throwing!

Ionic solids
are solids made up of cations and anions held together by ionic bonds that form due to the electrostatic attraction between positive and negative ions.

  • In this overview, we volition expect at the bones structure of
    ionic solids.
  • So, nosotros will zoom in on the
    crystal lattice
    structure of
    ionic solids.
  • In one case nosotros understand the construction, we will investigate
    factors affecting the structure of ionic solids.
  • Finally, we will discuss the pregnant
    characteristics of ionic solid structures.

Basic Structure of Ionic Solids

Before nosotros zoom in to the
crystal lattice structure
of ionic solids, it’s of import to know that
ionic solids
are types of
crystalline solids!

Crystalline solids
are solids whose particles are arranged in a very organized, repeating 3D arrangement.

Structure of Ionic Solids Basic Structure of Ionic Solids Crystalline Structure StudySmarter
Particle arrangement of crystalline solids, StudySmarter Original.

The bones structure to keep in mind is that
ionic solids
will be made up of rigid, repeating patterns of ions.

At that place are iv types of crystalline solids:
ionic solids,
molecular solids, covalent network solids,
metallic solids!
The deviation between the four is based on the type of bonds and molecular forces holding them together. Our focus is on the structure of
ionic solids
but bank check out Types of Solids to acquire more about the others.

Lattice Construction of Ionic Solids

And so, now that we know the big picture of ionic solids, let’southward look at the specific construction of ionic solids known as

refer to the repeating organization of alternating positive cations and negative anions in an ionic solid.

Structure of Ionic Solids Lattice Structure of Ionic Solid StudySmarter
2D particulate model of NaCl lattice. StudySmarter Original.

Often, ionic solids will be depicted in a 2d particulate model (as seen to a higher place) because it allows u.s. to accurately represent and determine the size and organisation of the ions in the solid. The particulate model is essentially a slice of the 3D lattice structure.

Crystal Structure of Ionic Solids

And then combining what we know about crystalline solids and ionic lattices, what construction practise ionic solids form? The reply is Ionic
crystal lattices!

Crystal lattices
refer to the repeating
3D arrangement
of alternating positive cations and negative anions that brand up an ionic solid.

Structure of Ionic Solids 3D Crystal Lattice Structure of Ionic Solids StudySmarter
The 3D crystal lattice structure of NaCl., StudySmarter Original

Why do crystal lattices grade?

You may exist wondering, how practice we know that
ionic solids
form this way? Well, this is considering the ions are e’er going to arrange themselves to minimize repulsive forces between similarly charged ions and maximize bonny forces between oppositely charged ions. Naturally, this means that
will attract each other (hence why they are next to each other in the model), while cations will repel cations, and anions will repel anions.

I important aspect to grasp is that ions can have an equal electrostatic attraction to any number of oppositely charged ions nearby. Each ion is surrounded by oppositely charged ions in all directions creating these lattice structures; that is why ane Na+
ion tin be experiencing electrostatic attraction with six Cl

ions in the NaCl ionic solid to a higher place.

Check out Coulomb’s Forces and Interaction Force to learn more most this concept!

Based on what we have covered so far, is the below model of NaF right? If so, explain why. If not, explicate why not and draw it correctly. As a hint, the sizes of these ions are identical, so size isn’t relevant to this detail structure, and we will get into how size affects the structure later on.

Structure of Ionic Solids Crystal Lattice Structure of Ionic Solids KF ionic Solid StudySmarter
KF ionic solid model. StudySmarter Original

Showtime, do you remember this is the right construction?

The correct answer is: no! Looking at the arrangement, can you figure out what’south wrong?

i) The start step is always to figure out the cation and anion.

It’due south pretty easy in this case because nosotros are given the charges so

  • cation is Na+
  • anion is F

2) Next, we tin ask ourselves if this organization maximizes attractive forces between Na+
and F

and minimizes repulsive forces by having an alternating, repeating pattern.

And bingo, there’s the trouble! This model doesn’t accept the optimal arrangement because Na+
and F

are next to each other.

The correct model should wait like the below:

Stricture of Ionic Solids Crystal Lattice Structure of Ionic Solids KF arrangement StudySmarter
Correctly arranged KF ionic solid. StudySmarter Original.

The above case should have been pretty straightforward, but it is a practiced reference for your understanding of ionic solids then far!

Factors Affecting the Structure of Ionic Solids

We will now investigate the factors that straight touch on the
crystal lattice structure
ionic solids. You may have guessed that the two main factors are:

  • Accuse of the Ions
  • Size of the Ions

If y’all think these factors audio familiar, they are too some of the factors that determine the forcefulness of ionic bonds according to Coulomb’s Police force! As the charge of ions increases and the size of the ionic radius decreases, the crystal lattice structure becomes more tightly packed, and the electrostatic forces between ions are stronger.

Charge of Ions

As should exist clear from what we’ve covered so far, the charge of ions affects the structure because the oppositely charged ions attract one another, and the similarly charged ions repel i another, leading to the formation of the lattice structure in the first place! Based on Coulomb’due south Police force, the stronger the charges of the ions, the more stable the lattice structure will be!

Size of Ions

How does the size of the ions affect the construction? Let’s revisit the structure of NaCl to explore this!

2D particulate model of NaF. StudySmarter Original
2Dparticulate model of NaCl. StudySmarter Original.

What do you notice about the sizes of ions in the NaCl lattice?

Well, the Na+
cations are noticeably smaller than the Cl

anions! The larger anions form the outline of the crystal lattice while the smaller cations fill the space in between.

This is of import to continue in mind because information technology ways:

  1. the ionic radius of the ions affects how the lattice structure forms and is depicted.
  2. co-ordinate to Coulomb’s Law, the smaller the ionic radius, the more stable the lattice and the stronger the electrostatic forces betwixt ions.

Considering the charge and size of an ion directly affect the construction of ionic solids, it is crucial that yous can correctly identify the cation and anion within an ionic chemical compound, compare sizes between ions, and compare charges.

We tin can quickly identify cations and anions based on the ionic compound name and formula. The cation always comes earlier the anion in an ionic formula or proper noun. Based on this cognition, in LiF which ion is the cation and anion?

Permit’s wait at the periodic table below to determine how to compare
ionic radii


The general trend for
ionic radius

is that the ionic radius increases equally we become
downward a group
. As we go
across a period
from left to correct, the
ionic radius decreases.

The general charges for ions are labeled on the periodic table below and correspond to the group number. If yous want a refresher on how to make up one’s mind this, check out Periodic Tabular array for more!

Structure of Ionic Solids Factors Affecting the Structure of Ionic Solids Periodic Table StudySmarter
Charges of Elements on Periodic Table, StudySmarter Original.

Characteristics of Ionic Solids Due to Structure

Finally, we will briefly look at how this crystal lattice structure leads to specific characteristics among ionic solids.

Characteristic Reasoning
High Melting Point a lot of energy is required to break the potent ionic bonds which means loftier temperature to have enough energy
Hard and Brittle the rigid, repeating lattice structure creates a very hard solid, but when there is a slight shift in arrangement, repulsive forces betwixt similarly charged ions volition break the crystal apart
Poor electric conductors as solid the crystal lattice structure is highly organized and keeps the charged ions locked in place
Adept electrical conductors when dissolved when the crystal lattice is dissolved, the charged ions can move freely and thus conduct an electrical accuse

This is a summary of all the important properties. Delight check out Ionic Solids and Ionic Bonding for more detail on these characteristics!

Structure of Ionic Solids – Key takeaways

  • Ionic

    are solids made up of cations and anions held together by ionic bonds

    • they are a blazon of
      crystalline solid
  • Ionic solids
    are structured in
    crystal lattices
    which refers to the repeating 3D arrangement of alternating
    positive cations
    negative anions

    • 2D particulate models often represent them
  • The charge of ions and size of ions directly affect the stability and strength of the lattice construction of ionic solids.
  • Ionic solids tend to be
    hard and breakable, have
    high melting points
    , and are poor conductors unless dissolved in a solution.


  1. Brown, Theodore L, H E. LeMay, Bruce E. Bursten, Catherine J. Tater, Patrick M. Woodward, and Matthew Stoltzfus. Chemistry: The Primal Science. , 2018.

What is an Ionic Solid Apex

Source: https://www.studysmarter.co.uk/explanations/chemistry/ionic-and-molecular-compounds/structure-of-ionic-solids/