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Binary Molecular Compounds


    Binary molecular compounds are caused when the atoms of two different elements group together as molecules. The two elements in binary molecular compounds are usually non-metals.


Writing Binary Molecular Compounds



Step 1
The first Element in the name of the formula is usually the one that is farthest to the left on the periodic table.

Example: In a compound containing carbon and oxygen, the carbon is named first because carbon is to the left of oxygen.


Step 2
The suffix "-ide" is attached to the name of the second element

Example: In a compound containing carbon and oxygen, the name "oxygen" is changed to "oxide".


Step 3
Use prefixes to indicate how many atoms of each type are present in one molecule of the compound. Note that the prefix "mono" is used only for the second element. Drop the "o" if the second element is oxygen. (Example: Monoxide, not Monooxide)

Example: A compound consisting of molecules with one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms, CO2, is called Carbon Dioxide. A compound consisting of molecules with one carbon and one oxygen, CO, is Carbon Monoxide.


Prefixes for Binary Molecular Compounds
  • Mono means 1
  • Di means 2
  • Tri means 3
  • Tetra means 4
  • Penta means 5
  • Hexa means 6
  • Hepta means 7
  • Octa means 8
  • Nona means 9
  • Deca means 10


Remember Binary Molecular Compounds are usually two non-metals.