You are on page 1of 4

6/2/2017 ChemicalcompoundWikipedia

Chemicalcompound
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Achemicalcompound(orjustcompoundifusedinthe
contextofchemistry)isanentityconsistingoftwoormore
atoms,atleasttwofromdifferentelements,whichassociate
viachemicalbonds.Therearefourtypesofcompounds,
dependingonhowtheconstituentatomsareheldtogether:
moleculesheldtogetherbycovalentbonds,ioniccompounds
heldtogetherbyionicbonds,intermetalliccompoundsheld
togetherbymetallicbonds,andcertaincomplexesheld
togetherbycoordinatecovalentbonds.Manychemical
compoundshaveauniquenumericalidentifierassignedby
theChemicalAbstractsService(CAS):itsCASnumber.

Achemicalformulaisawayofexpressinginformationabout
theproportionsofatomsthatconstituteaparticularchemical
compound,usingthestandardabbreviationsforthechemical
elements,andsubscriptstoindicatethenumberofatoms
involved.Forexample,wateriscomposedoftwohydrogen Purewater(H2O)isanexampleofacompound:
atomsbondedtooneoxygenatom:thechemicalformulais theballandstickmodelofthemolecule(above)
H2O.
showsthespatialassociationoftwopartshydrogen
(white)andonepart(s)oxygen(red)
Acompoundcanbeconvertedtoadifferentchemical
compositionbyinteractionwithasecondchemical
compoundviaachemicalreaction.Inthisprocess,bondsbetweenatomsarebrokeninbothoftheinteracting
compounds,andthenbondsarereformedsothatnewassociationsaremadebetweenatoms.Schematically,this
reactioncouldbedescribedas ,whereA,B,C,andDareeachuniqueatomsand
AB,CD,AC,andBDareeachuniquecompounds.

Achemicalelementbondedtoanidenticalchemicalelementisnotachemicalcompoundsinceonlyone
element,nottwodifferentelements,isinvolved.Examplesarethediatomicmoleculehydrogen(H2)andthe
polyatomicmoleculesulfur(S8).

Contents
1 Definitions
2 Elementaryconcepts
3 Comparisontomixtures
4 Formula
5 Phasesandthermalproperties
6 Seealso
7 References
8 Furtherreading
9 Externallinks

Definitions

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_compound 1/4
6/2/2017 ChemicalcompoundWikipedia

Anysubstanceconsistingoftwoormoredifferenttypesofatoms(chemicalelements)inafixedproportionof
itsatoms(i.e.,stoichiometry)canbetermedachemicalcompoundtheconceptismostreadilyunderstood
whenconsideringpurechemicalsubstances.[1]:15[2][3]Itfollowsfromtheirbeingcomposedoffixed
proportionsoftwoormoretypesofatomsthatchemicalcompoundscanbeconverted,viachemicalreaction,
intocompoundsorsubstanceseachhavingfeweratoms.[4]Inthecaseofnonstoichiometriccompounds,the
proportionsmaybereproduciblewithregardtotheirpreparation,andgivefixedproportionsoftheircomponent
elements,butproportionsthatarenotintegral[e.g.,forpalladiumhydride,PdHx(0.02<x<0.58)].[5]Chemical
compoundshaveauniqueanddefinedchemicalstructureheldtogetherinadefinedspatialarrangementby
chemicalbonds.Chemicalcompoundscanbemolecularcompoundsheldtogetherbycovalentbonds,saltsheld
togetherbyionicbonds,intermetalliccompoundsheldtogetherbymetallicbonds,orthesubsetofchemical
complexesthatareheldtogetherbycoordinatecovalentbonds.[6]Purechemicalelementsaregenerallynot
consideredchemicalcompounds,failingthetwoormoreatomrequirement,thoughtheyoftenconsistof
moleculescomposedofmultipleatoms(suchasinthediatomicmoleculeH2,orthepolyatomicmoleculeS8,
etc.).[6]

Thereisvaryingandsometimesinconsistentnomenclaturedifferentiatingsubstances,whichincludetrulynon
stoichiometricexamples,fromchemicalcompounds,whichrequirethefixedratios.Manysolidchemical
substancesforexamplemanysilicatemineralsarechemicalsubstances,butdonothavesimpleformulae
reflectingchemicallybondingofelementstooneanotherinfixedratiosevenso,thesecrystallinesubstances
areoftencalled"nonstoichiometriccompounds".Itmaybearguedthattheyarerelatedto,ratherthanbeing
chemicalcompounds,insofarasthevariabilityintheircompositionsisoftenduetoeitherthepresenceof
foreignelementstrappedwithinthecrystalstructureofanotherwiseknowntruechemicalcompound,ordueto
perturbationsinstructurerelativetotheknowncompoundthatarisebecauseofanexcessofdeficitofthe
constituentelementsatplacesinitsstructuresuchnonstoichiometricsubstancesformmostofthecrustand
mantleoftheEarth.Othercompoundsregardedaschemicallyidenticalmayhavevaryingamountsofheavyor
lightisotopesoftheconstituentelements,whichchangestheratioofelementsbymassslightly.

Elementaryconcepts
Characteristicpropertiesofcompoundsincludethatelementsinacompoundarepresentinadefinite
proportion.Forexample,themoleculeofthecompoundwateriscomposedofhydrogenandoxygeninaratio
of2:1.Inaddition,compoundshaveadefinitesetofproperties,andtheelementsthatcompriseacompounddo
notretaintheiroriginalproperties.Forexample,hydrogen,whichiscombustibleandnonsupportiveof
combustion,combineswithoxygen,whichisnoncombustibleandsupportiveofcombustion,toproducethe
compoundwater,whichisnoncombustibleandnonsupportiveofcombustion.

Comparisontomixtures
Thephysicalandchemicalpropertiesofcompoundsdifferfromthoseoftheirconstituentelements.Thisisone
ofthemaincriteriathatdistinguishacompoundfromamixtureofelementsorothersubstancesingeneral,a
mixture'spropertiesarecloselyrelatedto,anddependon,thepropertiesofitsconstituents.Anothercriterion
thatdistinguishesacompoundfromamixtureisthatconstituentsofamixturecanusuallybeseparatedby
simplemechanicalmeans,suchasfiltering,evaporation,ormagneticforce,butcomponentsofacompoundcan
beseparatedonlybyachemicalreaction.However,mixturescanbecreatedbymechanicalmeansalone,buta
compoundcanbecreated(eitherfromelementsorfromothercompounds,oracombinationofthetwo)onlyby
achemicalreaction.

Somemixturesaresointimatelycombinedthattheyhavesomepropertiessimilartocompoundsandmayeasily
bemistakenforcompounds.Oneexampleisalloys.Alloysaremademechanically,mostcommonlybyheating
theconstituentmetalstoaliquidstate,mixingthemthoroughly,andthencoolingthemixturequicklysothat
theconstituentsaretrappedinthebasemetal.Otherexamplesofcompoundlikemixturesincludeintermetallic
compoundsandsolutionsofalkalimetalsinaliquidformofammonia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_compound 2/4
6/2/2017 ChemicalcompoundWikipedia

Formula
Achemicalformulaisawayofexpressinginformationabouttheproportionsofatomsthatconstitutea
particularchemicalcompound,usingasinglelineofchemicalelementsymbols,numbers,andsometimesalso
othersymbols,suchasparentheses,dashes,brackets,commasandplus(+)andminus()signs.

Compoundsmaybedescribedusingformulasinvariousformats.Forcompoundsthatexistasmolecules,the
formulaforthemolecularunitisshown.Forpolymericmaterials,suchasmineralsandmanymetaloxides,the
empiricalformulaisnormallygiven,e.g.NaClfortablesalt.

Theelementsinachemicalformulaarenormallylistedinaspecificorder,calledtheHillsystem.Inthis
system,thecarbonatoms(ifthereareany)areusuallylistedfirst,anyhydrogenatomsarelistednext,andall
otherelementsfollowinalphabeticalorder.Iftheformulacontainsnocarbon,thenalloftheelements,
includinghydrogen,arelistedalphabetically.Thereare,however,severalimportantexceptionstothenormal
rules.Forioniccompounds,thepositiveionisalmostalwayslistedfirstandthenegativeionislistedsecond.
Foroxides,oxygenisusuallylistedlast.

Ingeneral,organicacidsfollowthenormalruleswithCandHcomingfirstintheformula.Forexample,the
formulafortrifluoroaceticacidisusuallywrittenasC2HF3O2.Moredescriptiveformulascanconveystructural
information,suchaswritingtheformulafortrifluoroaceticacidasCF3CO2H.Ontheotherhand,thechemical
formulasformostinorganicacidsandbasesareexceptionstothenormalrules.Theyarewrittenaccordingto
therulesforioniccompounds(positivefirst,negativesecond),buttheyalsofollowrulesthatemphasizetheir
Arrheniusdefinitions.Tobespecific,theformulaformostinorganicacidsbeginswithhydrogenandthe
formulaformostbasesendswiththehydroxideion(OH).Formulasforinorganiccompoundsdonotoften
conveystructuralinformation,asillustratedbythecommonuseoftheformulaH2SO4foramolecule(sulfuric
acid)thatcontainsnoHSbonds.AmoredescriptivepresentationwouldbeO2S(OH)2,butitisalmostnever
writtenthisway.

Phasesandthermalproperties
Compoundsmayhaveseveralpossiblephases.Allcompoundscanexistassolids,atleastatlowenough
temperatures.Molecularcompoundsmayalsoexistasliquids,gases,and,insomecases,evenplasmas.All
compoundsdecomposeuponapplyingheat.Thetemperatureatwhichsuchfragmentationoccursisoftencalled
thedecompositiontemperature.Decompositiontemperaturesarenotsharpanddependonpressure,
temperature,andtheconcentrationofeachspeciesinthecompound.

Seealso
Chemicalelement
Chemicalrevolution
Chemicalstructure
IUPACnomenclature
Dictionaryofchemicalformulas
Listofcompounds
Additiontopiligands

References
1.Whitten,KennethW.Davis,RaymondE.Peck,M.
Larry(2000),GeneralChemistry(6thed.),Fort
Worth,TX:SaundersCollegePublishing/Harcourt
CollegePublishers,ISBN9780030723735

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_compound 3/4
6/2/2017 ChemicalcompoundWikipedia

2.Brown,TheodoreL.LeMay,H.EugeneBursten, 4.Wilbraham,AntonyMatta,MichaelStaley,Dennis
BruceE.Murphy,CatherineJ.Woodward,Patrick Waterman,Edward(2002),Chemistry(1sted.),
(2009),Chemistry:TheCentralScience,APEdition UpperSaddleRiver,NJ:Pearson/PrenticeHall,p.36,
(http://www.pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PS ISBN0132512106
Z16f&PMDBSUBCATEGORYID=&PMDBSITEID 5.Manchester,F.D.SanMartin,A.Pitre,J.M.
=2781&PMDBSUBSOLUTIONID=&PMDBSOLUT (1994)."TheHPd(hydrogenpalladium)System".
IONID=6724&PMDBSUBJECTAREAID=&PMDB JournalofPhaseEquilibria.15:62.
CATEGORYID=814&PMDbProgramId=52962)(11th doi:10.1007/BF02667685(https://doi.org/10.1007%2
ed.),UpperSaddleRiver,NJ:Pearson/PrenticeHall, FBF02667685).PhasediagramforPalladium
pp.56,ISBN0132364891 HydrogenSystem(http://www.msm.cam.ac.uk/mmc/p
3.Hill,JohnW.Petrucci,RalphH.McCreary,Terry eople/jw476/pdh.html)
W.Perry,ScottS.(2005),GeneralChemistry(http:// 6.Atkins,PeterJones,Loretta(2004).Chemical
www.pearsonhighered.com/educator/academic/produc Principles:TheQuestforInsight.
t/0,3110,0131402838,00.html)(4thed.),UpperSaddle
River,NJ:Pearson/PrenticeHall,p.6,ISBN9780
131402836

Furtherreading
RobertSiegfried(2002),Fromelementstoatoms:ahistoryofchemicalcomposition,American
PhilosophicalSociety,ISBN9780871699244

Externallinks

Lookupchemical
compoundinWiktionary,
thefreedictionary.
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
title=Chemical_compound&oldid=782399278"
WikimediaCommonshas
Categories: Chemistry Chemicalcompounds mediarelatedtoChemical
compounds.

Thispagewaslasteditedon26May2017,at17:17.
TextisavailableundertheCreativeCommonsAttributionShareAlikeLicenseadditionaltermsmay
apply.Byusingthissite,youagreetotheTermsofUseandPrivacyPolicy.Wikipediaisaregistered
trademarkoftheWikimediaFoundation,Inc.,anonprofitorganization.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_compound 4/4