Chemical compound

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2006-02-13 Drop-impact.jpg
Water-3D-balls.png
Pure water (H2O) is an example of a compound. The ball-and-stick model of the molecule shows the spatial association of two parts hydrogen (white) and one part(s) oxygen (red)

A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one element held together by chemical bonds. A molecule consisting of atoms of only one element is therefore not a compound.

Contents

There are four types of compounds, depending on how the constituent atoms are held together:

A chemical formula specifies the number of atoms of each element in a compound molecule, using the standard abbreviations for the chemical elements and numerical subscripts. For example, a water molecule has formula H2O indicating two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. Many chemical compounds have a unique CAS number identifier assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service. Globally, more than 350,000 chemical compounds (including mixtures of chemicals) have been registered for production and use. [1]

A compound can be converted to a different chemical substance by interaction with a second substance via a chemical reaction. In this process, bonds between atoms may be broken in either or both of the interacting substances, and new bonds formed.

Definitions

Any substance consisting of two or more different types of atoms (chemical elements) in a fixed stoichiometric proportion can be termed a chemical compound; the concept is most readily understood when considering pure chemical substances. [2] :15 [3] [4] It follows from their being composed of fixed proportions of two or more types of atoms that chemical compounds can be converted, via chemical reaction, into compounds or substances each having fewer atoms. [5] The ratio of each element in the compound is expressed in a ratio in its chemical formula. [6] A chemical formula is a way of expressing information about the proportions of atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound, using the standard abbreviations for the chemical elements, and subscripts to indicate the number of atoms involved. For example, water is composed of two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom: the chemical formula is H2O. In the case of non-stoichiometric compounds, the proportions may be reproducible with regard to their preparation, and give fixed proportions of their component elements, but proportions that are not integral [e.g., for palladium hydride, PdHx (0.02 < x < 0.58)]. [7]

Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure held together in a defined spatial arrangement by chemical bonds. Chemical compounds can be molecular compounds held together by covalent bonds, salts held together by ionic bonds, intermetallic compounds held together by metallic bonds, or the subset of chemical complexes that are held together by coordinate covalent bonds. [8] Pure chemical elements are generally not considered chemical compounds, failing the two or more atom requirement, though they often consist of molecules composed of multiple atoms (such as in the diatomic molecule H2, or the polyatomic molecule S8, etc.). [8] Many chemical compounds have a unique numerical identifier assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS): its CAS number.

There is varying and sometimes inconsistent nomenclature differentiating substances, which include truly non-stoichiometric examples, from chemical compounds, which require the fixed ratios. Many solid chemical substances—for example many silicate minerals—are chemical substances, but do not have simple formulae reflecting chemically bonding of elements to one another in fixed ratios; even so, these crystalline substances are often called "non-stoichiometric compounds". It may be argued that they are related to, rather than being chemical compounds, insofar as the variability in their compositions is often due to either the presence of foreign elements trapped within the crystal structure of an otherwise known true chemical compound, or due to perturbations in structure relative to the known compound that arise because of an excess of deficit of the constituent elements at places in its structure; such non-stoichiometric substances form most of the crust and mantle of the Earth. Other compounds regarded as chemically identical may have varying amounts of heavy or light isotopes of the constituent elements, which changes the ratio of elements by mass slightly.

Types

Molecules

A molecule is an electrically neutral group of two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] A molecule may be homonuclear, that is, it consists of atoms of one chemical element, as with two atoms in the oxygen molecule (O2); or it may be heteronuclear, a chemical compound composed of more than one element, as with water (two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom; H2O).

Ionic compounds

An ionic compound is a chemical compound composed of ions held together by electrostatic forces termed ionic bonding. The compound is neutral overall, but consists of positively charged ions called cations and negatively charged ions called anions. These can be simple ions such as the sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl) in sodium chloride, or polyatomic species such as the ammonium (NH+
4
) and carbonate (CO2−
3
) ions in ammonium carbonate. Individual ions within an ionic compound usually have multiple nearest neighbours, so are not considered to be part of molecules, but instead part of a continuous three-dimensional network, usually in a crystalline structure.

Ionic compounds containing basic ions hydroxide (OH) or oxide (O2−) are classified as bases. Ionic compounds without these ions are also known as salts and can be formed by acid–base reactions. Ionic compounds can also be produced from their constituent ions by evaporation of their solvent, precipitation, freezing, a solid-state reaction, or the electron transfer reaction of reactive metals with reactive non-metals, such as halogen gases.

Ionic compounds typically have high melting and boiling points, and are hard and brittle. As solids they are almost always electrically insulating, but when melted or dissolved they become highly conductive, because the ions are mobilized.

Intermetallic compounds

An intermetallic compound is a type of metallic alloy that forms an ordered solid-state compound between two or more metallic elements. Intermetallics are generally hard and brittle, with good high-temperature mechanical properties. [14] [15] [16] They can be classified as stoichiometric or nonstoichiometic intermetallic compounds. [14]

Complexes

A coordination complex consists of a central atom or ion, which is usually metallic and is called the coordination centre, and a surrounding array of bound molecules or ions, that are in turn known as ligands or complexing agents. [17] [18] [19] Many metal-containing compounds, especially those of transition metals, are coordination complexes. [20] A coordination complex whose centre is a metal atom is called a metal complex of d block element.

Bonding and forces

Compounds are held together through a variety of different types of bonding and forces. The differences in the types of bonds in compounds differ based on the types of elements present in the compound.

London dispersion forces are the weakest force of all intermolecular forces. They are temporary attractive forces that form when the electrons in two adjacent atoms are positioned so that they create a temporary dipole. Additionally, London dispersion forces are responsible for condensing non polar substances to liquids, and to further freeze to a solid state dependent on how low the temperature of the environment is. [21]

A covalent bond, also known as a molecular bond, involves the sharing of electrons between two atoms. Primarily, this type of bond occurs between elements that fall close to each other on the periodic table of elements, yet it is observed between some metals and nonmetals. This is due to the mechanism of this type of bond. Elements that fall close to each other on the periodic table tend to have similar electronegativities, which means they have a similar affinity for electrons. Since neither element has a stronger affinity to donate or gain electrons, it causes the elements to share electrons so both elements have a more stable octet.

Ionic bonding occurs when valence electrons are completely transferred between elements. Opposite to covalent bonding, this chemical bond creates two oppositely charged ions. The metals in ionic bonding usually lose their valence electrons, becoming a positively charged cation. The nonmetal will gain the electrons from the metal, making the nonmetal a negatively charged anion. As outlined, ionic bonds occur between an electron donor, usually a metal, and an electron acceptor, which tends to be a nonmetal. [22]

Hydrogen bonding occurs when a hydrogen atom bonded to an electronegative atom forms an electrostatic connection with another electronegative atom through interacting dipoles or charges. [23] [24] [25] [26]

Reactions

A compound can be converted to a different chemical composition by interaction with a second chemical compound via a chemical reaction. In this process, bonds between atoms are broken in both of the interacting compounds, and then bonds are reformed so that new associations are made between atoms. Schematically, this reaction could be described as AB + CD → AD + CB, where A, B, C, and D are each unique atoms; and AB, AD, CD, and CB are each unique compounds.

See also

Related Research Articles

Alkali metal Group of highly-reactive chemical elements

The alkali metals consist of the chemical elements lithium (Li), sodium (Na), potassium (K), rubidium (Rb), caesium (Cs), and francium (Fr). Together with hydrogen they constitute group 1, which lies in the s-block of the periodic table. All alkali metals have their outermost electron in an s-orbital: this shared electron configuration results in their having very similar characteristic properties. Indeed, the alkali metals provide the best example of group trends in properties in the periodic table, with elements exhibiting well-characterised homologous behaviour. This family of elements is also known as the lithium family after its leading element.

Chemistry scientific discipline

Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.

Chemical bond Lasting attraction between atoms that enables the formation of chemical compounds

A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atoms, ions or molecules that enables the formation of chemical compounds. The bond may result from the electrostatic force of attraction between oppositely charged ions as in ionic bonds or through the sharing of electrons as in covalent bonds. The strength of chemical bonds varies considerably; there are "strong bonds" or "primary bonds" such as covalent, ionic and metallic bonds, and "weak bonds" or "secondary bonds" such as dipole–dipole interactions, the London dispersion force and hydrogen bonding.

A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound or molecule, using chemical element symbols, numbers, and sometimes also other symbols, such as parentheses, dashes, brackets, commas and plus (+) and minus (−) signs. These are limited to a single typographic line of symbols, which may include subscripts and superscripts. A chemical formula is not a chemical name, and it contains no words. Although a chemical formula may imply certain simple chemical structures, it is not the same as a full chemical structural formula. Chemical formulae can fully specify the structure of only the simplest of molecules and chemical substances, and are generally more limited in power than are chemical names and structural formulae.

Electronegativity, symbol χ, measures the tendency of an atom to attract a shared pair of electrons. An atom's electronegativity is affected by both its atomic number and the distance at which its valence electrons reside from the charged nucleus. The higher the associated electronegativity, the more an atom or a substituent group attracts electrons.

Ionic bonding Chemical bonding involving attraction between ions

Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bonding that involves the electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions, or between two atoms with sharply different electronegativities, and is the primary interaction occurring in ionic compounds. It is one of the main types of bonding along with covalent bonding and metallic bonding. Ions are atoms with an electrostatic charge. Atoms that gain electrons make negatively charged ions. Atoms that lose electrons make positively charged ions. This transfer of electrons is known as electrovalence in contrast to covalence. In the simplest case, the cation is a metal atom and the anion is a nonmetal atom, but these ions can be of a more complex nature, e.g. molecular ions like NH+
4
or SO2−
4
. In simpler words, an ionic bond results from the transfer of electrons from a metal to a non-metal in order to obtain a full valence shell for both atoms.

Molecule Electrically neutral group of two or more atoms

A molecule is an electrically neutral group of two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds. Molecules are distinguished from ions by their lack of electrical charge.

Metallic bonding is a type of chemical bonding that rises from the electrostatic attractive force between conduction electrons and positively charged metal ions. It may be described as the sharing of free electrons among a structure of positively charged ions (cations). Metallic bonding accounts for many physical properties of metals, such as strength, ductility, thermal and electrical resistivity and conductivity, opacity, and luster.

A coordinate covalent bond, also known as a dative bond, dipolar bond, or coordinate bond is a kind of two-center, two-electron covalent bond in which the two electrons derive from the same atom. The bonding of metal ions to ligands involves this kind of interaction. This type of interaction is central to Lewis theory.

Nonmetal Chemical element that mostly lacks the characteristics of a metal

In chemistry, a nonmetal is a chemical element that mostly lacks the characteristics of a metal. Physically, a nonmetal tends to have a relatively low melting point, boiling point, and density. A nonmetal is typically brittle when solid and usually has poor thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity. Chemically, nonmetals tend to have relatively high ionization energy, electron affinity, and electronegativity. They gain or share electrons when they react with other elements and chemical compounds. Seventeen elements are generally classified as nonmetals: most are gases ; one is a liquid (bromine); and a few are solids. Metalloids such as boron, silicon, and germanium are sometimes counted as nonmetals.

In chemistry, a hydride is formally the anion of hydrogen, H. The term is applied loosely. At one extreme, all compounds containing covalently bound H atoms, are called hydrides: water is a hydride of oxygen, ammonia is a hydride of nitrogen, etc. For inorganic chemists, hydrides refer to compounds and ions in which hydrogen is covalently attached to a less electronegative element. In such cases, the H centre has nucleophilic character, which contrasts with the protic character of acids. The hydride anion is very rarely observed.

Ionic compound Chemical compound involving ionic bonding

In chemistry, an ionic compound is a chemical compound composed of ions held together by electrostatic forces termed ionic bonding. The compound is neutral overall, but consists of positively charged ions called cations and negatively charged ions called anions. These can be simple ions such as the sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl) in sodium chloride, or polyatomic species such as the ammonium (NH+
4
) and carbonate (CO2−
3
) ions in ammonium carbonate. Individual ions within an ionic compound usually have multiple nearest neighbours, so are not considered to be part of molecules, but instead part of a continuous three-dimensional network, usually in a crystalline structure.

Valence electron

In chemistry and physics, a valence electron is an outer shell electron that is associated with an atom, and that can participate in the formation of a chemical bond if the outer shell is not closed; in a single covalent bond, both atoms in the bond contribute one valence electron in order to form a shared pair.

In chemistry, the valence or valency of an element is a measure of its combining capacity with other atoms when it forms chemical compounds or molecules.

In chemistry, bond energy (BE), also called the mean bond enthalpy or average bond enthalpy is the measure of bond strength in a chemical bond. IUPAC defines bond energy as the average value of the gas-phase bond-dissociation energy for all bonds of the same type within the same chemical species. The larger the average bond energy, per electron-pair bond, of a molecule, the more stable and lower-energy the molecule.

An intramolecular force is any force that binds together the atoms making up a molecule or compound, not to be confused with intermolecular forces, which are the forces present between molecules. The subtle difference in the name comes from the Latin roots of English with inter meaning between or among and intra meaning inside. Chemical bonds are considered to be intramolecular forces, for example. These forces are often stronger than intermolecular forces, which are present between atoms or molecules that are not bonded.

Chemical substance Matter of constant composition best characterized by the entities (molecules, formula units, atoms) it is composed of

A chemical substance is a form of matter having constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. Some references add that chemical substance cannot be separated into its constituent elements by physical separation methods, i.e., without breaking chemical bonds. Chemical substances can be simple substances, chemical compounds, or alloys. Chemical elements may or may not be included in the definition, depending on expert viewpoint.

This glossary of chemistry terms is a list of terms and definitions relevant to chemistry, including chemical laws, diagrams and formulae, laboratory tools, glassware, and equipment. Chemistry is a physical science concerned with the composition, structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions; it features an extensive vocabulary and a significant amount of jargon.

An ion is an atom or molecule that has a net electrical charge. Since the charge of the electron is equal and opposite to that of the proton, the net charge of an ion is non-zero due to its total number of electrons being unequal to its total number of protons. A cation is a positively charged ion, with fewer electrons than protons, while an anion is negatively charged, with more electrons than protons. Because of their opposite electric charges, cations and anions attract each other and readily form ionic compounds.

Solids can be classified according to the nature of the bonding between their atomic or molecular components. The traditional classification distinguishes four kinds of bonding:

References

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Further reading