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chemical bond

The force that holds two atoms together; may form by the attraction of a positive ion for a negative ion by sharing electrons.


An ion that has a positive charge.


An ion that has a negative charge.

ionic bond

The electrostatic force that holds oppositely charged particles together in an ionic compound.

ionic compound

Compounds that contain ionic bonds.

crystal lattice

A three-dimensional geometric arrangement of particles in which each positive ion is surrounded by negative ions and each negative ion is surrounded by positive ions; vary in shape due to sizes and relative numbers of the ions bonded.


An ionic compound whose aqueous solution conducts an electric current.

lattice energy

The energy required to separate one mole of the ions of an ionic compound, which is directly related to the size of the ions bonded and is also affected by the charge of the ions.

formula unit

The simplest ratio of ions in a compound.

monatomic ion

An ion formed from only one atom.

oxidation number

The positive or negative charge of a monatomic ion.

polyatomic ion

An ion made up of two or more atoms bonded together that acts as a single unit with a net charge.


A polyatomic ion composed of an element, usually a nonmetal, bonded to one or more oxygen atoms.

electron sea model

Proposes that all metal atoms in a metallic solid contribute their valence electrons to form a "sea" of electrons, and can explain properties of metallic solids such as malleability, conduction, and ductility.

delocalized electron

The electrons involved in metallic bonding that are free to move easily from one atom to the next throughout the metal and are not attached to a particular atom.

metallic bond

The attraction of a metallic cation for delocalized electrons.


A mixture of elements that has metallic properties; most commonly forms when the elements are either similar in size (substitutional alloy) or the atoms of one element are much smaller than the atoms of the other (interstitial alloy).

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