Construct formulas for the following and classify each as either ionic or covalent compounds.Iron(III) chloride: Phosphorus trihydride: Iron(II) chloride: Copper(I) nitrate: Oxygen dichloride:...

Construct formulas for the following and classify each as either ionic or covalent compounds.
  1. Iron(III) chloride:
  2. Phosphorus trihydride:
  3. Iron(II) chloride:
  4. Copper(I) nitrate:
  5. Oxygen dichloride:
  6. Copper(II) nitrate:

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llltkl | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In order to construct formulae for inorganic compounds one has to have a knowledge of the valency, or combining ability of ions constituting the chemical compounds and their symbols. Conventionally the valency of the cation of an ionic compound is given within parentheses, in Roman numerals. All the anions present in the examples are monovalent. Ionic compounds are formed when elements (or group of elements) differing hugely in charge density, combine together through electrostatic force of attraction. For an ionic compound cation is named first followed by the anion. Covalent compounds are formed when elements of comparable or slightly different electronegativity combine together through sharing of electron pairs. For covalent compounds, more electronegative component is put in the last part of the name. Considering these rules, the formulae and nature of the compound is given below:

  1. Iron(III) chloride: FeCl˅3 (ionic)
  2. Phosphorus trihydride: PH˅3 (covalent)
  3. Iron(II) chloride: FeCl˅2 (ionic)
  4. Copper(I) nitrate: CuNO˅3 (ionic)
  5. Oxygen dichloride: Cl˅2O (covalent)
  6. Copper(II) nitrate: Cu(NO˅3)˅2 (ionic).

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