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In the case of ionic compounds, the valency of an ion is the same as its charge (Note: valency is always expressed as a positive number e.g. valency of the chloride ion is 1 and not -1). Since an ionic compound is always neutral , the positive charges in the compound must balance out the negative. The following are some examples:

Write the chemical formula for potassium iodide.

  1. Potassium iodide contains potassium and iodide ions.

  2. Potassium iodide contains the ions K + ( valency = 1 ; charge = + 1 ) and I - ( valency = 1 ; charge = - 1 ). In order to balance the charge in a single molecule, one atom of potassium will be needed for every one atom of iodine.

  3. The chemical formula for potassium iodide is therefore:


Write the chemical formula for sodium sulphate.

  1. Sodium sulphate contains sodium ions and sulphate ions.

  2. Na + (valency = 1; charge = +1) and SO 4 2 - ( valency = 2 ; charge = - 2 ).

  3. Two sodium ions will be needed to balance the charge of the sulphate ion. The chemical formula for sodium sulphate is therefore:

    Na 2 SO 4

Write the chemical formula for calcium hydroxide.

  1. Calcium hydroxide contains calcium ions and hydroxide ions.

  2. Calcium hydroxide contains the ions Ca 2 + ( charge = + 2 ) and OH - ( charge = - 1 ). In order to balance the charge in a single molecule, two hydroxide ions will be needed for every ion of calcium.

  3. The chemical formula for calcium hydroxide is therefore:

    Ca(OH) 2

Notice how in the last example we wrote OH - inside brackets. We do this to indicate that OH - is a complex ion and that there are two of these ions bonded to one calcium ion.

Chemical formulae

  1. Copy and complete the table below:
    Compound Cation Anion Formula
    Na + Cl -
    potassium bromide Br -
    NH 4 + Cl -
    potassium chromate
    potassium permanganate
    calcium phosphate
  2. Write the chemical formula for each of the following compounds:
    1. hydrogen cyanide
    2. carbon dioxide
    3. sodium carbonate
    4. ammonium hydroxide
    5. barium sulphate

Chemical compounds: names and masses

In Giving names and formulae to substances the names of chemical compounds was revised. The relative molecular mass for covalent molecules is simply the sum of the relative atomic masses of each of the individual atoms in that compound. For ionic compounds we use the formula of the compound to work out a relative formula mass. We ignore the fact that there are many molecules linked together to form a crystal lattice. For example NaCl has a relative formula mass of 58 g · mol - 1 .


  • A chemical bond is the physical process that causes atoms and molecules to be attracted together and to be bound in new compounds.
  • Atoms are more reactive , and therefore more likely to bond, when their outer electron orbitals are not full. Atoms are less reactive when these outer orbitals contain the maximum number of electrons. This explains why the noble gases do not combine to form molecules.
  • When atoms bond, electrons are either shared or exchanged.
  • Covalent bonding occurs between the atoms of non-metals and involves a sharing of electrons so that the orbitals of the outermost energy levels in the atoms are filled.
  • The valency of an atom is the number of electrons in the outer shell of that atom and valence electrons are able to form bonds with other atoms.
  • A double or triple bond occurs if there are two or three electron pairs that are shared between the same two atoms.
  • A dative covalent bond is a bond between two atoms in which both the electrons that are shared in the bond come from the same atom.
  • Lewis and Couper notation are two ways of representing molecular structure. In Lewis notation, dots and crosses are used to represent the valence electrons around the central atom. In Couper notation, lines are used to represent the bonds between atoms.
  • An ionic bond occurs between atoms where the difference in electronegativity is greater than 1,7. An exchange of electrons takes place and the atoms are held together by the electrostatic force of attraction between oppositely-charged ions.
  • Ionic solids are arranged in a crystal lattice structure.
  • Ionic compounds have a number of specific properties , including their high melting and boiling points, brittle nature, the lattice structure of solids and the ability of ionic solutions to conduct electricity.
  • A metallic bond is the electrostatic attraction between the positively charged nuclei of metal atoms and the delocalised electrons in the metal.
  • Metals also have a number of properties, including their ability to conduct heat and electricity, their metallic lustre, the fact that they are both malleable and ductile, and their high melting point and density.
  • The valency of atoms, and the way they bond, can be used to determine the chemical formulae of compounds.

End of chapter exercises

  1. Explain the meaning of each of the following terms
    1. Valency
    2. Covalent bond
  2. Which ONE of the following best describes the bond formed between an H + ion and the NH 3 molecule?
    1. Covalent bond
    2. Dative covalent (coordinate covalent) bond
    3. Ionic Bond
    4. Hydrogen Bond
  3. Which of the following reactions will not take place? Explain your answer.
    1. H + H H 2
    2. Ne + Ne Ne 2
    3. Cl + Cl Cl 2
  4. Draw the Lewis structure for each of the following:
    1. calcium
    2. iodine (Hint: Which group is it in? It will be similar to others in that group)
    3. hydrogen bromide ( HBr )
    4. nitrogen dioxide ( NO 2 )
  5. Given the following Lewis structure, where X and Y each represent a different element...
    1. What is the valency of X ?
    2. What is the valency of Y ?
    3. Which elements could X and Y represent?
  6. A molecule of ethane has the formula C 2 H 6 . Which of the following diagrams (Couper notation) accurately represents this molecule?
  7. Potassium dichromate is dissolved in water.
    1. Give the name and chemical formula for each of the ions in solution.
    2. What is the chemical formula for potassium dichromate?

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Mueller Reply
The fundamental frequency of a sonometer wire streached by a load of relative density 's'are n¹ and n² when the load is in air and completly immersed in water respectively then the lation n²/na is
Mukesh Reply
Properties of longitudinal waves
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Sep 30, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11305/1.7
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