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Properties of Covalent Compounds


Back to Ionic Properties

"Molecular Marshmallow"

Compounds with covalent bonds may be solid, liquid or gas at room temperature depending on the number of atoms in the compound. The more atoms in each molecule, the higher a compound’s melting and boiling temperature will be. Since most covalent compounds contain only a few atoms and the forces between molecules are weak, most covalent compounds have low melting and boiling points. However, some, like carbon compounds, can be very large. An example is the diamond in which carbon atoms each share four electrons to form giant lattices.

Some Common Features of Materials with Covalent Bonds:

  • Soft-tend to be gases, liquids or soft solids

  • Poor conductors of heat and electricity

  • Molecules

  • Brittle or cleave rather than deform

  • Nonelectrolytes-do not conduct electricity in water

    C11H22O11(s) C11H22O11(l) C11H22O11(aq)


Network Solids -"Covalent Crystals" (crystal is used to describe Ionic structures)

  • Hard

  • Good insulators

  • Transparent

  • High Melting Point



KEY TERMS FOR COVALENT COMPOUNDS-Molecules, sharing of electrons

On to Network Solids

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