Steps to Naming Ionic and Covalent Compounds

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Many students struggle with naming compounds in their introductory chemistry course. Although there is a hefty amount of memorizing involved, if you are able to identify where your element lies on the periodic table, you are well on your way to successfully naming these compounds.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Step-by-step instruction for naming compounds. First identify whether you compound is ionic or covalent. Ionic compounds contain a metal and a non-metal. Covalent compounds contain two non-metals. How do you determine whether an element is a metal? Simply refer to your periodic table. Metals are listed binary compounds ionic and covalent the left of the thick stair-case line on the right hand side of the periodic table.

Non-metals are grouped to the right of that line. Another feature of the periodic table indicates that metallic behavior increases as you travel down a group and decreases as you go from left to right across binary compounds ionic and covalent row. This will be important when we get to naming covalent binary compounds.

All binary compounds are named with the more metallic element listed first and the more electronegative element listed second. Replace the ending of binary compounds ionic and covalent electronegative element with -ide and you are pretty much on your way to naming your compound. Then write the nonmetal element name second replacing the last three letters with -ide. Metals in the transition group often have multiple oxidation numbers.

If your metal falls in the transition groups make sure to include Sn and Pbthen use Roman numerals to identify the binary compounds ionic and covalent number.

Then write your non-metal element second with an — ide ending. Covalent binary compounds are composed of two nonmetals. Identify the location of each element on the periodic table. When writing the compound, list the more metallic element first. The only exception is when a halogen is pared with oxygen, write the halogen first. This means that in a row, the lower number is more metallic and in a group, the higher number is more metallic.

Use Greek numerical prefixes i. If there is only 1 atom in the first element, you can drop the word mono. The second word ends with -ide and always has a prefix. For more information visit Science Matters Wiki as well as the forum for some practice problems. This entry was posted in ChemistryNaming Compounds. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment. Please subscribe to this blog!

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One of the most important requirements in chemistry is to become familiar with the ways in which elements react to form compounds. We will investigate the types of chemical bonds, ways to predict compositions and the conventions of naming the compounds.

Electron transfer involves creation of ions , which bond via ionic bonds to form ionic compounds. A Familiar compound like table salt, sodium chloride, is a classic example of an ionic compound. The documents called Type 1 Compounds and Type 2 Compounds give information on predicting composition and naming of ionic compounds [1]. Electron sharing involves the sharing of electrons between two atoms and the creation of covalent bonds.

Covalently bonded compounds typically have very different properties from ionic compounds, and they also involve combinations of different types of elements. The document called Type 3 Compounds gives information of the naming of covalent compounds. Although there are many elements and even more compounds to consider, familiarity with a few rules will greatly simplify the process of becoming conversant with determining compositions of compounds. It is well known that the elements in group 8, the noble gases, are extremely unreactive.

Examination of the electronic structures of these elements shows that the outer shells are full of electrons; they do not lack for electrons to fill the shells. None of the other elements has a filled outer shell. The inference we draw from this is that the atom wants to obtain a filled shell, and this it achieves by forming bonds.

This can be done by either addition of electrons or removal of electrons. The noble gas atom already has a filled shell and does not need to indulge in bonding to achieve it. Elements on the left side of the table, metals, will lose electrons to form positive ions; elements on the right hand side of the table, non-metals, will gain electrons.

In both cases, a filled shell will result. Of course, we must recognize that the atom is now charged because the electron and proton counts are not equal. Electron loss creates positive ions, and electron gain creates negative ions. In an ionic compound, a positive ion and a negative ion come together and form an ionic bond through the strong electrostatic interaction between the ions of opposing charge.

It is essential to be able to predict the charge on an ion in order to predict the composition of compounds formed containing it.

We can use the periodic table to assist us in this. The table shows the periodic table with the charges of the ions shown. Note, that in this version, the SI scheme of 1 — 18 is used rather than the older 1A — 8A. We find a very strong correspondence between group number using the older scheme and ion charge. A compound is always neutral, and so charges of the ions in the compound must balance out. We always [3] know the charges on the ions from the periodic table.

So the next stage is to determine the correct ratio of ions that will produce charge neutrality. Basically the total number of positive charges must equal the total number of negative charges.

We have shown that the periodic table can be used to predict ionic charges. However, there are some elements that are not susceptible to this approach. Some of the heavier A-type elements like tin and lead show two ionic charge possibilities: The transition metals also show a high degree of variable ionic charges: You are not expected to remember all of these different ions, but be able to predict a composition if given the ion, and write the composition with the correct notation.

The ionic bonding model works very well for metals and non-metals, but for compounds made exclusively from non-metals, which dominate chemistry in terms of numbers, it fails completely. This is because non-metals form negative ions and never positive ions. It would also be impossible to describe the bond between the atoms in the diatomic elements like F 2 , O 2 and N 2 using the ionic model.

A covalent H—H bond is the net result of attractive and repulsive electrostatic forces. The nucleus—electron attractions blue arrows are greater than the nucleus—nucleus and electron—electron repulsions red arrows , resulting in a net attractive force that holds the atoms together to form an H 2 molecule.

The sharing of electrons effectively increases the electron count around the atom. Alone, each fluorine atom has seven electrons in the outer shell. Sharing two electrons in a single covalent bond means that each atom now appears to have eight — it has satisfied its octet demand. The same principle applies to describing bonds between unlike atoms, such as hydrogen and oxygen in water.

For some molecules, the sharing of two electrons is not sufficient to satisfy the octets of the atoms. Consider the series F 2 , O 2 and N 2. The elements are in groups 7A, 6A and 5A respectively.

The atoms have 7, 6 and 5 electrons in the valence shell respectively. It seems pretty obvious that, if the sharing of two electrons in F 2 satisfied the octet, then the sharing of two electrons will not do so in O 2 or N 2. However, more electrons can be shared, leading to multiple covalent bonds. So far we have discussed compounds that involve only two elements bonded by either ionic or covalent bonds.

There is a class of compounds, many of them very familiar, which contain more than two elements and also both ionic and covalent bonding. The compound is an ionic compound which contains either or perhaps both ions in the form of a polyatomic ion held together by covalent bonds.

Most polyatomic ions are negatively charged; only the hydronium ion and the ammonium ion are positively charged. The rules for balancing the charges in compounds containing polyatomic ions are the same as for binary ionic compounds. The composition of the polyatomic ion does not change at all. The documents called Type 1 Compounds and Type 2 Compounds give information on predicting composition and naming of ionic compounds [1] Electron sharing involves the sharing of electrons between two atoms and the creation of covalent bonds.

The octet rule It is well known that the elements in group 8, the noble gases, are extremely unreactive. Predicting ion charges It is essential to be able to predict the charge on an ion in order to predict the composition of compounds formed containing it. Predicting composition A compound is always neutral, and so charges of the ions in the compound must balance out.

Elements with variable ionic charge We have shown that the periodic table can be used to predict ionic charges. Covalent bonding The ionic bonding model works very well for metals and non-metals, but for compounds made exclusively from non-metals, which dominate chemistry in terms of numbers, it fails completely.

In these elements and compounds, covalent bonding operates. Multiple bonds For some molecules, the sharing of two electrons is not sufficient to satisfy the octets of the atoms.