When us talked around solid ionic compounds in Ionic Compounds, we uncovered that your properties frequently derive native the strong attraction the opposite electrical charges. It have to not come together a surprised to discover that the properties of covalent link are mostly owing to the nature of covalent bonds.

You are watching: Why are covalent compounds poor conductors of electricity

One that the most necessary things come remember about covalent compound is the they"re no ionic. This appears obvious, but the difference is actually subtler than you may imagine. To illustrate this concept, take it a look at the complying with figure:


Figure 9.5The properties of solid ionic compound are based upon the truth that countless ions space rigidly hosted in location with electrical forces. Molecules in covalent compounds, however, operate with relative independence from bordering molecules.

Unlike ionic compounds, where every one of the ion in a huge crystal aid to host each various other together, the molecules in a covalent compound are organized together by forces referred to as "intermolecular forces," i m sorry are much weaker 보다 chemical binding (more about intermolecular pressures in Solids). Together a result, the molecule in a covalent compound are not attracted to each various other as lot as the ion in ionic compounds. This distinction in structure is necessary in expertise the nature of covalent compounds.

Covalent Compounds have Low Melting and also Boiling Points

As discussed in Ionic Compounds, a huge amount of energy is forced to melt an ionic compound due to the fact that of the solid interactions in between the cations and anions in an ionic crystal. However, in covalent compounds, every molecules space bound just weakly to surrounding molecules; therefore, that takes very tiny energy to separate covalent molecules from one another.

poor Reactions

Many beginning chemistry student falsely think that as soon as a covalent molecule melts, covalent bonds space broken. This is false. When ionic compound melt, the ionic attraction fails. Once covalent compound melt, the molecules simply pull away from each other, leave the bonds intact.

Covalent link Are bad Conductors

Ionic compound are an excellent conductors of electricity when liquified or melted. As stated in Ionic Compounds, this is since ionic compounds have mobile ion that are able come transfer electric charge from one ar to another. They also conduct heat an extremely well since the ions room all right alongside each other, do it feasible for energy to it is in transferred effectively from one place to another.

Covalent compounds, on the various other hand, are practically always great insulators that both electricity and heat. Power is not able come conduct properly through covalent compounds because there space no ions to move the electric charge. Terrific example the this is in your own house, wherein the metal in your expansion cords is extended with plastic to prevent electrocuting her cat. Heat likewise doesn"t take trip well v covalent compounds due to the fact that the molecules aren"t as tightly organized to each various other as the ions in one ionic compound, making warmth transfer less efficient. This is why you use stove mitts to take it your cookie out that the oven rather than coating her hands with salt.

Covalent Compounds sometimes Burn

Molecular definitions

Organic compounds are covalent compounds that contain carbon. Lock usually additionally contain hydrogen. And may contain smaller amounts of other elements such together nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, oxygen, or any type of of the halogens.

Many covalent compounds room flammable and burn easily with the enhancement of heat. The main group of covalent compounds that are flammable are referred to as organic compounds. Organic compounds burn due to the fact that they save on computer carbon and hydrogen, both of which incorporate nicely with oxygen at high temperatures.

It"s crucial to save in mind that not all covalent link burn?for example, water is a covalent compound and you"ll have a really hard time starting a fire v it. However, many an ext covalent 보다 ionic compounds space flammable.

Flammability is a basic property that covalent compounds due to the fact that a huge majority the the well-known covalent compounds are organic. Due to the fact that most organic compounds burn, we deserve to safely list this together a property of covalent compounds even though there are countless covalent compounds that don"t burn.

Excerpted indigenous The finish Idiot"s guide to Chemistry 2003 by Ian Guch. All civil liberties reserved consisting of the appropriate of reproduction in totality or in part in any form. Supplied by setup with Alpha Books, a member that Penguin team (USA) Inc.

See more: Why Is A Gas Easier To Compress Than A Solid, Why Is It Harder To Compress A Liquid Than A Gas

To stimulate this publication direct native the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or contact 1-800-253-6476. Friend can likewise purchase this publication at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.