Specification Point 1.27:
  • Explain the structure of an ionic compound as a lattice structure:
    a) consisting of a regular arrangement of ions
    b) held together by strong electrostatic forces (ionic bonds) between oppositely-charged ions.
  • In lattice structures the atoms form a regular pattern with a repeating spatial arrangement.
  • The lattices formed by ionic compounds consist of a regular arrangement of alternating positive and negative ions in which the ions are closely packed together.
  • Strong electrostatic forces of attraction are present between the oppositely charged ions.
  • These forces act in all directions and form the basis of ionic bonding.

Ionic Lattice NaCl, Edexcel GCSE Chemistry

Ball and stick 3D model of NaCl showing the regular arrangement of the ions

  • The lattice arrangement is present in three dimensions which allows solid ionic compounds to form regular shapes.
  • Solid ionic crystals contain huge numbers of ions hence they form giant ionic lattices.

Image showing magnified crystals of NaCl where the regular shapes can be seen

Edexcel GCSE Chemistry Notes

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Morgan Curtin Chemistry

Author: Morgan

Morgan’s passion for the Periodic Table begun on his 10th birthday when he received his first Chemistry set. After studying the subject at university he went on to become a fully fledged Chemistry teacher, and now works in an international school in Madrid! In his spare time he helps create our fantastic resources to help you ace your exams.