Difference between ionic and covalent compounds properties

Difference between ionic and covalent compounds properties

The properties of covalent compounds differ considerably from those of ionic compounds. A comparison of the properties of ionic and covalent compounds is given below:

Chemical bonding and its types


 S.N.  Property  Ionic compounds  Covalent compounds 
 1Mode of formation These are formed by the transfer of one or more electrons from an electropositive atom to an electronegative atom.  These are formed by the sharing of one or more electrons between the atoms of similar or almost similar electronegativities. 
 2Physical status  They are hard, solids under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure.  Most of the covalent compounds exist as gases or liquids under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. Some of the covalent compounds may also exist as solids. 
 3Constituent species and intermolecular forces  The ionic compounds consist of ions held together by strong electrostatic forces of attraction and arranged in a definite fashion in a three-dimensional lattice. The covalent compounds consist of discrete molecules held together by weak van der Waals’ forces. 
 4Melting and boiling point  The melting and boiling points of ionic compounds are usually very high. The is due to the presence of strong electrostatic forces between the constituent particles.  Most of the covalent compounds possess low melting and boiling points due to the presence of weak van der Waals’ forces between their molecules. 
 5Hardness and brittleness  Due to the presence of strong electrostatic forces of attraction, ionic compounds are very hard and brittle.  Solid covalent compounds are soft and waxy. 
 6Solubility in polar and non-polar solvents  Ionic compounds are freely soluble in polar solvents but they are either insoluble or feebly soluble in non-polar solvents.  Covalent compounds are insoluble in polar solvents but are freely soluble in non-polar solvents. 
 7Conduction of electric current  Ionic solids conduct electric current both in the fused state as well as in the aqueous solution state due to the presence of mobile ions. however, they are unable to conduct current in the solid-state because ions are fixed at their lattice sites.   Covalent solids usually do not conduct electric current due to the absence of ions. 
 8Nature of reactions  They undergo ionic reactions in solutions which are very fast.  They undergo molecular reactions which are slow. 
 9Nature of bonds  Ionic bonds are neither rigid nor directional in nature.  Covalent bonds are rigid and directional. 
 10Stereoisomerism  Due to the non-rigid and non-directional nature of bonds, ionic compounds are unable to exhibit any type of stereoisomerism.  Due to the rigid and directional nature of covalent bonds, covalent compounds exhibit geometrical as well as optical isomerism. 


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