What are the characteristics of Ionic compounds ?

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When there is a transfer of electrons from one atom to another either by gain or loss of electrons an ionic or electrovalent bond is formed. An ionic bond is a bond between ions with opposite charges.

Cations (positively charged ions) cannot exist without anions (negatively charged ions). An electron released by an atom to from a cation must be accepted by another atom to form an anion. Cations and anions are formed in many chemical reactions by the transfer of one or more electrons from one element to another. Ionic bonds are formed by a strong attraction between positive and negative ions.

Characteristics of Ionic compounds

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Some important characteristics of ionic compounds are as follows.

1. Ionic compounds are hard and rigid due to strong forces of attraction between the oppositely charged ions.

2. Ionic compounds have high melting and boiling points, again due to strong forces of attraction between the ions.

3. Ionic compounds dissolve easily in water.

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4. Solid Ionic compounds do not conduct electricity because their constituent ions are fixed in their positions. But, when melted or dissolved in water, they conduct electricity because the ions become free in a solution.

5. Ionic compounds are crystalline due to the orderly distribution of ions in them. This gives characteristic geometrical shapes to the ionic compounds.

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