Questions tagged [inorganic-chemistry]

Inorganic compounds generally do not have C-H bonds, while organic compounds do have such bonds. The distinction between inorganic and organic chemistry, however, is far from absolute.

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Why do compounds like SF6 and SF4 exist but SH6 and SH4 don't?

Both $\ce{SF6}$ and $\ce{SH6}$ and $\ce{SF4}$ and $\ce{SH4}$ have the same central atom and the same hybridization, but my teacher specifically mentioned that $\ce{SH6}$ and $\ce{SH4}$ don't exist. I'...
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19 votes
1 answer
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Is KF the most ionic compound?

I saw somewhere (can't recall where) that KF is the most ionic compound. I expected CsF. Does the greater polarizability of Cs allow it to more easily form covalent bonds compared to K? Does this ...
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Why is gold golden?

Bulk gold has a very characteristic warm yellow shine to it, whereas almost all other metals have a grey or silvery color. Where does this come from? I have heard that this property arises from ...
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What is the perfect definition for chirality?

Why is chirality defined differently for organic and inorganic compounds? Why are inorganic compounds deemed to be optically active if they have more than one of the same ligands attached to the ...
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8 votes
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Colour intensity of transition metal complexes

Even though they are both $\mathrm{d^7}$ complexes, the colour of $\ce{[Co(H2O)6]^2+}$ is pale whereas that of $\ce{[CoCl4]^2-}$ is more intense. Does the octahedral or tetrahedral geometry matter in ...
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Hybridization of sulfur in sulfur dioxide

One of the canonical structures for sulfur dioxide - $\ce{SO2}$ - has sulfur (with a lone electron pair) double bonded to each oxygen atom to form a total of 4 bonds for sulfur - which can be achieved ...
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22 votes
3 answers
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Why is the inversion barrier larger in PH3 than it is in NH3?

The inversion barrier in $\ce{NH3}$ is approximately $5~\mathrm{kcal~mol^{-1}}$ and that of $\ce{PH3}$ is $35~\mathrm{kcal~mol^{-1}}$. This has well-known stereochemical consequences in that amines ...
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What do the prefixes meta, ortho, pyro mean in inorganic chemistry?

In inorganic chemistry, when is the prefix meta used? (as in metaborate and metasulphite) What about the terms pyro and ortho (as in orthophosphorous acid)? For example, I recently came to know about ...
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Why does basicity of group 15 hydrides decrease down the group?

In my textbook it is written that the order of basic strength of pnictogen hydrides is $$\ce{NH3 > PH3 > AsH3 > SbH3 > BiH3}$$ I tried but could not find any explanation as to why this ...
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Why does mercury have low melting and boiling points?

Many metals have relatively high melting and boiling points, but mercury has relatively low melting and boiling points. What are the possible reasons for this?
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41 votes
3 answers
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What is the inert pair effect?

I was reading about the p-block elements and found that the inert pair effect is mentioned everywhere in this topic. However, the book does not explain it very well. So, what is the inert pair effect? ...
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24 votes
4 answers
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Will gaseous ionic compounds be free moving ions?

I knew while learning about electrolysis that if the ionic compound is molten it becomes free moving ions. If that is the case, what will happen if I continued heating till it reaches the boiling ...
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14 votes
6 answers
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Why is carbon dioxide nonpolar?

I understand that polarity corresponds to an electronegativity difference and that the larger the electronegativity difference, the more polar the bond. However, I have read that carbon dioxide is ...
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2 answers
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What is the favoured geometry of chlorine trifluoride?

Why is the first structure on the left more stable than the second one on the right? In the first one the angle between the two pair of nonbonding electrons is about 120° which is a lot less than ...
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40 votes
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Why is arsenous acid denoted H3AsO3?

Inspired by this question, I'm wondering why arsenous acid is frequently denoted $\ce{H3AsO3}$, as opposed to $\ce{As(OH)3}$, which would appear to more accurately reflect its connectivity? [edit] I ...
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25 votes
2 answers
72k views

Melting and boiling points of transition elements

The melting and boiling points of transition elements increases from scandium ($1530~\mathrm{^\circ C}$) to vanadium ($1917~\mathrm{^\circ C}$). They increase because as we go across the group, we ...
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Trend in the melting point down the group

We know that the atomic radii increases down the group. So, less energy is required to pull out the outermost electron as we go down the group, hence, gradually melting point decreases down the group....
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Why copper(I) is unstable in aqueous medium?

I am expecting that $\ce{Cu+}$ attains a $\mathrm d^{10}$ configuration by losing one electron from s-subshell. Since it has fully filled d-orbital, it should be stable. But it is found that it is ...
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Dihedral angle of gaseous and crystalline HOOH

Why does hydrogen peroxide exhibit a dihedral angle of $111.5^\circ$ in the gaseous state? And a dihedral angle of $90.2^\circ$ in the crystalline phase? I know that in general, there is likely to be ...
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Hydrogen halide acidity

Why is it that $$\mathrm{p}K_\mathrm{a}(\ce{HF}) < \mathrm{p}K_\mathrm{a}(\ce{HCl}) < \mathrm{p}K_\mathrm{a}(\ce{HBr}) < \mathrm{p}K_\mathrm{a}(\ce{HI}),$$ even though the electronegativity ...
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What is Drago's rule? Does it really exist?

My textbooks states the Drago's rule in inorganic chemistry as follows: The more electronegative atom prefers the orbital having more $\mathrm{p}$ character, and lone-pairs or less electronegative ...
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80 votes
6 answers
23k views

Do all salts taste salty?

Recently, I am learning the production of soluble and insoluble salts. My friend and I have done this experiment at the school lab. We wanted to taste them to see whether they are salty are not. The ...
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40 votes
7 answers
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Why is BCl3 a monomer whereas AlCl3 exists as a dimer?

What makes dimerization possible in $\ce{AlCl3}$? Are there 3c-2e bonds in $\ce{Al2Cl6}$ as there are in $\ce{B2H6}$?
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14 votes
1 answer
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Delocalization of π-electrons in nitrate ion

Benzene and nitrate ion are given in my textbook as examples for the delocalization of π-electrons. Benzene, due to symmetry of its resonating structures, is simple enough. We assume that σ-electrons ...
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Why do different elements form different types of carbides?

What property of the elements make them form different types of carbides like: $\ce{Be}$ and $\ce{Al}$ - $\ce{Be2C}$ and $\ce{Al4C3}$ (Methanides) contains $\ce{C^4-}$ ion $\ce{Na}$ and $\ce{Ca}$ - $...
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9 votes
2 answers
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Why do copper (II) complexes contain so many valence electrons?

Consider tetraaminecopper (II) ion. $\ce{[Cu(NH3)4]^2+}$ or $\ce{[Cu(NH3)4(H2O)2]^2+}$. The copper(II) ion has the electron configuration $\mathrm{[Ar]\ 3d^9}$. How do the 4 electron pairs from the ...
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11 votes
2 answers
11k views

Reaction intermediates of MnO2 catalyzed H2O2 decomposition reaction

Manganese dioxide catalyzes the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen gas. But what are the intermediates in this catalyzed reaction?
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36 votes
1 answer
65k views

Why is [PdCl4]2- square planar whereas [NiCl4]2- is tetrahedral?

The molecule $\ce{[PdCl4]^2-}$ is diamagnetic, which indicates a square planar geometry as all eight d electrons are paired in the lower-energy orbitals. However, $\ce{[NiCl4]^2-}$ is also $\mathrm{d^...
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12 votes
1 answer
63k views

What is the definition of organic compounds?

According to the definition of organic compounds on Wikipedia: An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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How can the equilibrium shift, while Kc remains constant?

Consider the following reversible reaction. $$\ce{Cr2O7^2-(aq) + H2O(l) <=> 2 CrO4^2-(aq) + 2 H+(aq)}$$ What will happen to the position of equilibrium and the value of $K_c$ when more $\ce{H+}$ ...
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13 votes
2 answers
6k views

Which has the largest bond angle between water, oxygen difluoride and dichlorine oxide?

Which one out of $\ce{H2O}, \ce{Cl2O}, \&\ \ce{F2O}$ will have largest bond angle? I think it should be $\ce{H2O}$ because oxygen is most electronegative in this case so electrons will be more ...
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11 votes
3 answers
4k views

How does copper reduce dilute nitric acid to nitric oxide and concentrated nitric acid to nitrogen dioxide?

Here are the 2 equations: \begin{align} \ce{3Cu + 2NO3- + 8H+ &<=> 3Cu^2+ + 2NO + 4H2O} & E &= 0.62~\mathrm{V}\\ \ce{Cu + 2NO3- + 4H+ &<=> Cu^2+ + 2NO2 + 2H2O}& E &...
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10 votes
3 answers
60k views

Why doesn't copper react with hydrochloric acid while the other metals do?

5) Which one of the following metals does not react with hydrochloric acid? A. zinc B. magnesium C. iron D. copper E. aluminium The right answer must be copper, but why ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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How does the radial distribution function of Vanadium differ from that of Calcium and how does this affect the ionic electron configurations?

When Vanadium is ionised it loses the 4s electron first, meaning that it's 3+ ion has a different electron configuration to Calcium despite it being isoelectronic. Can it be explained in terms of ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Why do sodium halides react so differently with sulfuric acid?

Why do sodium halides react so differently with sulfuric acid? \begin{align} \ce{NaF + H2SO4 &-> NaHSO4 + HF} \tag{1a}\label{NaF}\\ \ce{NaCl + H2SO4 &-> NaHSO4 + HCl} \tag{...
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13 votes
4 answers
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Why is CaCl2 called calcium chloride?

Doing a first year chem class. Just read through the molecular naming of compounds and now I'm confused as to why $\ce{CaCl2}$ is called calcium chloride and not calcium dichloride?
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9 votes
3 answers
11k views

Is KHF2 an ionic compound or a covalent compound?

The statement below is an excerpt from my school textbook:- Because of the tendency of fluorine to form hydrogen bond, metal fluorides are solvated by $\ce{HF}$ giving species of the type $\ce{...
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3 votes
2 answers
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How to prepare potassium cyanide from potassium ferrocyanide

How do we prepare potassium cyanide from potassium ferrocyanide? It is something which I am curious about, but cannot find the answer. I am studying inorganic chemistry but this reaction cannot be ...
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46 votes
1 answer
11k views

Why does sulfur, but not oxygen, catenate?

Oxygen is a rather boring element. It has only two allotropes, dioxygen and ozone. Dioxygen has a double bond, and ozone has a delocalised cloud, giving rise to two "1.5 bonds". On the other hand, ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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The bond in coordination complexes

This is a very basic question and I'm surprised it only just struck me. The nature of the bond in coordination complexes is a coordinate covalent bond. Only the ligand donates electrons for bond ...
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14 votes
3 answers
19k views

How does chlorine form more than 1 bond?

How are perchlorate or chlorate or chlorite ions and their respective acids or compounds formed. $\ce{Cl}$ can't form more than one bond but still... $\rightarrow$'Perchlorate ion' $\rightarrow$'...
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52 votes
4 answers
60k views

Is carbon dioxide organic or inorganic?

Today in chemistry class we were discussing Organic Chemistry. We discussed what organic compounds basically are and then I asked the teacher whether $\ce{CO_2}$ is organic or not. She told that it is ...
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21 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why is the boiling point of stibane higher than that of ammonia?

I recently came across the fact that the boiling point of $\ce{SbH3}$ (stibane) is greater than that of $\ce{NH3}$ (ammonia). I was expecting $\ce{NH3}$ to have a greater boiling point as a ...
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12 votes
1 answer
15k views

Why does magnesium have an exceptionally low melting point?

Why does magnesium have a lower melting point than both calcium and beryllium? It does not seem to fit into the group trend.
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12 votes
2 answers
9k views

Should bromine water be called a solution?

Bromine water is a reagent which is used to test for unsaturation in organic compound. It is $2.8~\%$ bromine in water. In many places, it is refer to as bromine solution. But it is observed that ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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How are the hybrid orbitals of sulfur hexafluoride shaped?

On the fluorine end the fluoride atoms are simply completing a $3p$ orbital. On the sulfur end one could posit a hybrid of one $3s$ orbital, two $3p$ orbitals and a three inner $2p$ orbitals. However,...
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7 votes
2 answers
17k views

What is hybridisation of XeF6 in solid state?

According to the following formula: Type of hybridisation/steric no. = (no. of sigma bonds + no. of lone pairs) it should be $\ce{sp^3d^3}$, however according to my textbook it is $\ce{sp^3d^2}$ in ...
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18 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do bare protons exist, even transiently, in aqueous solution?

Generally $\ce{H^+}$ ions in water remain in the form of hydronium ions ($\ce{H3O+}$), and not as "free" aqueous protons, as far as I've been taught. My question: is this always the case, even when ...
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11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Oxygen and sulfur bonding

Why does oxygen form a double bond in $\ce{O2}$ but sulfur, also from group 16, forms single bonds in $\ce{S8}$?
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6 votes
2 answers
40k views

How to calculate the formal charge of sulfate ion?

I found a site with this formula if you will, Formal Charge = [Number of valence electrons on atom] – [non-bonded electrons + number of bonds] I don't think I am using it correctly in finding the ...
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