NaCl (Sodium chloride) is an ionic compound because when the metal combines with nonmetal, it usually forms an ionic compound. Here, Na is a metal and Cl is a nonmetal. So when they combine, it forms an ionic compound.
Well, now you have got to know that NaCl is an ionic compound, but let me explain the in-depth reason why NaCl is an ionic compound.
If you are a visual learner like me, then here is a short two minute video for you.
Why is NaCl an ionic compound?
As mentioned above, you can simply remember that when the metal combines with nonmetal, the bond between them is an ionic bond.
Here in NaCl, the Na atom is a metal and the Cl atom is a nonmetal.
Hence the bond between them is an ionic bond.
How does the ionic bond form between Na and Cl?
In NaCl, there are two atoms;
Na and Cl.
About Sodium (Na):
Sodium atom have 11 electrons.
The electrons arrangement in Sodium (Na) is 2, 8, 1.
So the outermost orbit of Sodium atom has 1 electron.
Now Sodium is a metal and the metals are highly electropositive (that means they have the tendency to lose electrons and become positive ions.)
Hence during the chemical reaction, the Sodium atom will lose 1 electron to form a stable octet.
About Chlorine (Cl):
Chlorine atom have 17 electrons.
The electrons arrangement in Chlorine (Cl) is 2, 8, 7.
So the outermost orbit of Chlorine atom has 7 electrons.
Now Chlorine is a nonmetal and the nonmetals are highly electronegative (that means they have the tendency to gain electrons and become negative ions.)
Hence during the chemical reaction, the Chlorine atom will gain 1 electron to form a stable octet.
What happens when Na and Cl combine?
When Na and Cl combine with each other, the electron transfer takes place from Sodium atom to Chlorine atom (i.e from Na to Cl).
In other words, the Sodium atom (Na) loses 1 electron and the Chlorine atom (Cl) gains 1 electron.
Due to this, the Sodium becomes a positive ion (Na+) and Chlorine becomes a negative ion (Cl–).
Now because of the positive charge of Sodium ion and negative charge of Chlorine ion, the electrostatic force of attraction is produced between them.
This electrostatic force between Sodium ion and Chlorine ion results in an ionic bond between them.
Hence, NaCl is an ionic compound.
I hope you have understood the reason why NaCl is an ionic compound.
Check out other compounds to see whether they are ionic or covalent;
Is CO2 (Carbon dioxide) Ionic or Covalent?
Is H2O (Water) Ionic or Covalent?
Is Hydrogen chloride (HCl) Ionic or Covalent?
Is CaCl2 (Calcium chloride) Ionic or Covalent?
Is NH3 (Ammonia) Ionic or Covalent?
Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. With a desire to make learning accessible for everyone, he founded Knords Learning, an online learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.
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