Do ionic compounds have only empirical formulas?

1 Answer
Dec 26, 2016

Answer:

Yes, ionic compounds have only empirical formulas.

Explanation:

Ionic compounds like #"NaCl"# exist only as separate #"Na"^"+"# and #"Cl"^"-"# ions in a crystalline arrangement.

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There are no molecules. only separate sodium and chloride ions.

Thus, we must use the ratio of #"Na"^"+"# and #"Cl"^"-"# ions — the empirical formula — to describe the compound.

Indeed, all ionic compounds have only an empirical formula.