A List of Three Properties of Ionic Compounds

A student analyzes the physical and chemical properties of compounds.
••• Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

A compound is any combination of two or more different types of atoms (a molecule is a combination of any two atoms; they do not need to be different). There are several different types of compounds, and the characteristics of compounds come from the type of bonds that they form; ionic compounds are formed from ionic bonds.

Ionic Compound Definition

Ionic compounds are compounds in which the atoms are held together by ionic bonds. An ionic bond occurs when two oppositely charged ions are attracted. An ion is an atom that has either gained or lost an electron, and thus has a positive or negative charge; ions have different chemical properties than the neutral (as listed on the periodic table) form of the atom. Ionic compounds are made up of at least one metallic element and one nonmetallic element.


Ionic compounds are solids at room temperature. Solidness is a sate of matter in which the material is relatively resistant to change. Additionally, ionic compounds are generally soluble in water, though being soluble in water does not change the solid state of a compound. An example of ionic compounds that are solids is common table salt, which forms with a sodium ion and a chlorine ion. Note that solids that contain carbon are not ionic bonds; carbon forms a covalent bond.


Because of the presence of a metallic element, most ionic compounds retain the physical characteristics of metals, chief of which is that they are good conductors of heat and electricity. However, the solid form of an ionic compound is not nearly as good at conducting electricity as when it is dissolved in water. Additionally, metals have higher density than nonmetallic substances, and they often contain luster (which is when light reflects off of a substance).

Stable Bonds

Ionic bonds are relatively stable, which is part of the reason why ionic compounds are generally solid. As a result, ionic compounds have higher boiling and melting points because their bonds are resistant to change (boiling points and melting points are the temperatures at which a solid changes its state to a gas or liquid, respectively). The energy that keeps the positive and negative ions together in such a strong bond is known as "lattice energy."

Related Articles

Rock & Mineral Types
Why Do Hydrates Change Color When Heated?
Comparison Between Metallic & Ionic Crystals
Six Types of Crystalline Solids
How to Calculate the Mass of a Solid
Which Liquids Boil at a Lower Gas Temperature Than...
What Are the Smallest Particles of an Element?
Number of Protons in an Uncharged Atom
How to Find Out If an Element Is an Ion
Difference Between Atoms & Ions
What Are the Two Major Components of an Atom?
Why Is Salt Water Heavier Than Tap Water?
What Dissolves Salt Besides Water?
The Differences in Covalent Crystals & Molecular Crystals
Differences Between a Compound and a Solid Solution
What Is the Relationship Between a Molecule & an Atom?
Describe the Formation of Both Positive & Negative...
What Is the Difference Between Permeable & Impermeable?
How to Determine Conductivity in Compounds

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!