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Ionic vs. Molecular

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Published on May 9, 2012

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How can you tell the difference between compounds that are ionic and molecular (also known as covalent)? It has to do with the elements that make them up: ionic compounds are made of metals and nonmetals, and molecular (or covalent) compounds are made of nonmetals. We'll learn how they bond differently: in covalent compounds, the atoms share electrons, and in ion compounds, atoms steal electrons and then opposite charges attract. Ionic and molecular (covalent) compounds also look different at the microscopic level: covalent and molecular compounds exist in molecules, while ionic compounds are organized in lattice structures.

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