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determine the correct number of atoms of each element to write the formula for a neutral compound.

Experiment Naming Ionic and Molecular Compounds

Figure 7. Flowchart for naming ionic and molecular compounds.

The following tips will help you in the coming Exercises:

1. If there is no metal present in the compound, the compound is likely a molecular compound.

2. One way to distinguish between binary ionic compounds and binary molecular compounds is to look for a prefix. Molecular compounds use a Greek prefix to indicate the number of each atom in the compound. Refer to Table 1.

3. When naming ionic compounds (a metal and a nonmetal or polyatomic ion), if the metal ion is in Group IA or IIA, or one of the following elements: Ag, Zn, Cd, or Al, then the cation is named first. The anion is named second: monoatomic ions have the suffix “-ide,” and polyatomic ions have no suffix.

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Experiment Naming Ionic and Molecular Compounds

4. If the metal is in Groups IIIA through IIB (EXCEPT for Ag, Zn, Cd, or Al) then the ionic compound is named as in step 3, except a Roman numeral is added in parentheses after the metal name to indicate the charge of the metal ion.

5. When writing the formula for ionic compounds, write the symbol for the cation first, followed by the anion.

6. EVERY time a compound contains a metal, balance the charges of the compound when writing the formula.

7. Print or write down the steps on naming ionic and molecular compounds in the Background, and use them for every example.

8. An aqueous physical state distinguishes binary acids from simple molecular compounds.

9. Double check your work. After you have written the name of a chemical compound, cover the name and try to write the corresponding formula, and vice versa.

10. Use the note cards that will be created in Exercise 1 for every compound i