There are several different chemical bonds found in nature. Ionic bonding represents the attraction of cations (positively charged ions) to anions (negatively charged ions). There is a strong electrostatic interaction between these oppositely charged ions, which forms a bond that requires the input of energy to break. One consequence of this high level of electrostatic attraction is the high boiling point of molecules with ionic bonds.
Ionic bonding commonly generates lattices, in which the components of that lattice alternate with each other in three-dimensional space. Common table salt, NaCl, is an example of a lattice generated through ionic bonding between sodium ions (positively charged) and chloride ions (negatively charged). Sodium has a single electron in its valence shell while chloride has seven electrons in its outer valence shell. An ionic bond occurs when one atom "steals" an electron from another atom and in so doing, allows for each valence shell to be complete. Visualizing the repeating pattern found in salt lattices is often challenging for students. Through the models in this collection, the crystal shape of salt is easily seen and manipulated.
This collection also includes models of water, so that the concept of solubility can be explored. The ionic bond between sodium and chloride is easily dissociated in water as water will interact readily with the ions. Through the use of these models, a student can examine how many water molecules are needed to dissolve a single NaCl ionic bond. The concept of saturation can also be discussed with reference to the availability of water to interact with NaCl molecules.
Models in this Collection
- 6 3x3x3 NaCl Lattices
- 27 atoms, each ion has 6 embedded magnets to simulate ionic bonding
- 2 Water Cups
- 12 water molecules
- 1 sodium ion
- 1 chlorine ion
- 1 ethane core with 5 non-magnetic hydrogens
- 1 hydroxyl group
- 1 non-magnetic hydrogen with gray post
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