• Ionic compounds take on the form of extended three-dimensional arrays of cations and anions.
  • The arrangement maximizes the attractive force between oppositely-charged ions.
  • It is only when we use modern techniques to analyze the crystal structure at the atomic level that we can see the true regularity of the organized ions.
  • The figure below shows two different ways of representing the ionic crystal lattice.
  • A ball and stick model makes it easier to see how individual ions are oriented with respect to one another.
  • A space filling diagram is a more accurate representation of how the ions pack together in the crystal.
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