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The Basics ⚛️
- Ionic solids are made up of oppositely charged ions held together by electrostatic attraction (a.k.a. ionic bonds).
- Electrostatic attraction just describes the attractive force between a positive charge and a negative charge.
- The ions form a crystal lattice structure, seen in NaCl below:
- They're hard and brittle.
- They have high melting points because ionic bonds require a lot of energy to break.
- In solid form, ionic compounds are poor conductors.
- When melted or dissolved in water, they will conduct electricity because they dissociate into individual ions that are free to move around.
- Not all ionic compounds are soluble, though, so keep those solubility rules in mind!