posted by Brittany on .
Can someone explain the electrical conductivity of melted and of aqueous solutions of ionic compounds. An explain it using the characteristics of ionic compounds.
ThankS A Whole lot.. In Advance
I suggest you go to the site recommended by Ms.Sue. Here is a brief summary but this summary may help put the entire article in perspective.
When an ionic compound, for example NaCl, dissolves in water, the solid crystal structure is broken and the NaCl dissolves, leaving sodium ions (Na^+) and chloride ions (Cl^-) in solution. When electrodes are placed into the solution, the positive electrode will attract the negative ions (the chloride ions) and the negative electrode will attract the positive ions (the sodium ions).(Unlike charages attract.) This movement of ionic particles in solution is what conducts the electric current from one electrode to the other. In molten NaCl (which must be heated to a high temperature--I think about 800 or so degrees C--to melt), the liquid consists of Na^+ and Cl^- and, again, these ionc conduct electricity from one electrode to the other. The solid crystal actually consists of Na^+ and Cl^- but they are locked into position by the forces that hold the ions in their crystalline lattice. As such, the solid does not conduct electrcity because the ions are not free to move abouat. The conduction by the molten material confirms that the solid consists of ions. I hope this helps you get started.