Q:

Why are ionic solids brittle?

A:

Ionic solids are brittle due to the organization of their lattice structures. When layers of the lattice structure shift, ionic repulsion causes the lattice to break down into smaller pieces.

According to Aus-e-Tute, the lattice structure of ionic solids is arranged such that cations are surrounded by anions. The lattice arrangement causes many ionic solids to have crystalline structures. When the lattice structure shifts due to a stressor, it causes ions of identical charge to be brought closer together. Since ions of the same charge repel each other, the lattice structure breaks down. According to IB Chemistry, breaking crystalline structures causes a break along cleavage planes.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Why are ionic compounds brittle?

    A:

    Ionic compounds are brittle due to the strong bond between the positive and negative ions that make up the molecules. These positive and negative bonds create crystals in rigid, lattice structures. Applying pressure shifts the alignment of the ions and results in brittleness. It takes a lot of energy to break them apart from each other.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do solids, liquids and gases expand when heated?

    A:

    Most solids, liquids and gases expand when they are heated because the molecules that make up the substance move more rapidly, which puts more distance between each of the molecules. This property of matter hold true irrespective of the state of matter in most cases. There are exceptions to this general rule; water, for example, expands when it transitions from liquid to solid form.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do solids expand when heated?

    A:

    When heated, the particles that make up solid matter vibrate more readily, thereby taking up more space. Most matter follows this rule, but water is an exception.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are examples of solids in gas solutions?

    A:

    Examples of solids in gas solutions include hydrogen in platinum and sulfur vapor in air. In chemistry and physics, there are three states of matter, which are solid, liquid and gas. From these states seven different types of solutions can form, including gas solutions, which involve the dissolving of gas particles into surrounding solid substances or the dissolving of solid particles into gas.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore