Ionic compounds


  • An ionic compound is a giant structure of ions. Ionic compounds are held together by strong electrostatic forces of attraction between oppositely charged ions. These forces act in all directions in the lattice and this is called ionic bonding.

The structure of sodium chloride can be represented in the following forms:

Students should be able to:

  • deduce that a compound is ionic from a diagram of its structure in one of the specified forms
  • describe the limitations of using dot and cross, ball and stick, two and three-dimensional diagrams to represent a giant ionic structure
  • work out the empirical formula of an ionic compound from a given model or diagram that shows the ions in the structure.
  • Students should be familiar with the structure of sodium chloride but do not need to know the structures of other ionic compounds.

WS 1.2 Use a variety of models such as representational, spatial, descriptive, computational and mathematical to solve problems, make predictions and to develop scientific explanations and understanding of familiar and unfamiliar facts.

MS 5b - Visualise and represent 2D and 3D forms including two dimensional representations of 3D objects

MS 4a Translate information between graphical and numeric form

MS 1a - Recognise and use expressions in decimal form

MS 1c Use ratios, fractions and percentages