When silicon dioxide changes state, are the covalent bonds being broken (ie. the intramolecular forces) or is it the intermolecular forces?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Intermolecular forces don't break $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2016 at 9:42
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The very words "intermolecular" and "intramolecular" don't quite apply to $\ce{SiO2}$. They imply it is made of molecules, which is not so. $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2016 at 10:08

1 Answer 1


$\ce{SiO_2}$ is a network covalent compound that has an extremely high melting and boiling point, because many silicon-oxygen bonds have to be broken in order for it to achieve the necessary freedom. To clarify, SiO2, which has a tetrahedra network lattice formation, shows that each silicon is actually bonded to 4 oxygens; each oxygen is bonded to 2 silicon. These excess bonds aside from the ones of SiO2 are broken.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.