Defining "Distortion"

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KC Navarro_1H
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

Defining "Distortion"

Postby KC Navarro_1H » Fri May 18, 2018 11:02 am

(Sorry if I put this in the incorrect category, I wasn't sure where this would fit)

I'm still trying to comprehend polarizability and polarizing power, though I do know that one applies to anions and the other applies to cations, respectively. I'm not entirely sure what "distortion" means; does it just mean that the electron cloud of the anion is being pulled in the direction of the cation if it has high polarizability? What gives a compound covalent or ionic character?

Thank you in advance!

NabilaNizam-1K
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Defining "Distortion"

Postby NabilaNizam-1K » Fri May 18, 2018 11:47 am

Polarizing power refers to the ability of a cation to distort the electron cloud of the anion in an ionic compound. The electron cloud of an anion is pulled towards the cation when it is distorted, giving the ionic bond a covalent character. If the polarization is quite small, an ionic bond is formed, while if the degree of polarization is large, a covalent bond results.

Thus the power of a cation to distort the other ion is known as its polarization power and the tendency of the anion to get polarized by the other ion is known as its polarizability. Greater the polarization power or polarizability of an ion, greater will be its tendency to form a covalent bond.


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