Date: Tue Dec 20 10:04:29 2005
Posted By: Dan Berger, Faculty Chemistry/Science, Bluffton University
Area of science: Chemistry
The answer is, both ionic and covalent.
There is no (or not much) covalent interaction between ammonium ion and chloride
ion in the solid state; the ions are arranged in a so-called "cesium chloride"
structure, which is common for 1-to-1 ratios of large cations and smaller anions.
However, bonding between nitrogen and the four hydrogens within the ammonium ion
itself is covalent.
There is a somewhat less common way of representing ammonium chloride,
NH3.HCl. This shows two things:
- You can make ammonium
chloride by reacting ammonia with HCl.
- Ammonium chloride is the
hydrochloride salt of ammonia. This convention is more often used with amine
salts with a complex structure, like morphine hydrochloride which is easier to
"get" than "morphinium chloride" or some such.
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