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Chemical Compounds

There are two types of compounds that can form when elements join together. These are
called either molecular or ionic compounds. Molecular compounds are held together by
covalent bonds and ionic compounds are held together by ionic bonds.

Covalent bonds form when atoms share electrons to create a bond.

Ionic bonds require ions. When atoms gain or lose electrons they become ions. Oppositely
charged ions can be attracted to one another. This attraction between ions forms an ionic

Naming Molecular Compounds:

Molecular compound are made up of non-metal atoms. That means they are found to the right
of the staircase on the periodic table.

The names of binary molecular compounds have two parts.

__________________________ __________________________

The second element goes

The name of the first here. The ending must be
1 element goes here. 2
changed to the letters “ide”.

If there are any numbers (subscripts) in the chemical formula, a prefix must be used to tell how
many atoms are needed.
Number Prefix Number Prefix
of atoms of atoms
1 mono* 6 hexa
2 di 7 hepta
3 tri 8 octa
4 tetra 9 nona
5 penta 10 deca
*Note that mono is only used as a prefix for the second atom (not the first).
Example: Write the name of CO2.

C = carbon
1 O = oxygen

2 ___carbon___ _ ___oxide____

But the oxygen atom has a subscript of 2

3 With prefixes: ___carbon___ _ ___dioxide____

Writing Formulas for Molecular Compounds:

To write chemical formulas for molecular compounds we must:

Find the symbols for each element on the periodic table. Remember
1 to look on the right hand side of the staircase.

Write down the symbol for each element in the same order as in the

Look for prefixes (di, tri, tetra, etc.) at the beginning of the names of
the elements.

If there are prefixes, write the matching number as a subscript (small

number at the bottom) after the symbol of the element.

Example: Write the chemical formula for dinitrogen monoxide.

1 oxide = oxygen
nitrogen = N
2 oxide (oxygen) = O

di = 2 N2
3 mono = 1* O
4 Final Answer: N2O

*Note that mono is only used as a prefix for the second atom (not the first).