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Ionic Crystal Structure

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Buckyball Bonds

How are ionic bonds like buckyballs?

Credit: Jared Wong
Source: http://flic.kr/p/8q5umi
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

[Figure1]

A great visual of ionic bonding is with the formerly popular toy buckyballs (not to be confused with the carbon allotrope).  They are tiny magnetic spheres that one could arrange in a variety of structures.  By forming a cube with the buckyballs, we can illustrate ionic bonding structure.

Creative Applications

  1. How are the buckyballs similar to ions in ionic bonding?
  2. Why do the balls stay in a rigid structure as opposed to collapsing?  How is this similar to ionic bonding?
  3. How can we determine whether two molecules are likely to form an ionic bond?  (i.e. properties, valence electrons, groups numbers, charges etc.)

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Jared Wong; Source: http://flic.kr/p/8q5umi; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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