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QUESTION

# Why is ionic bonding referred to as non directional?

is non-directional because an ion has the same attraction from all directions for an ion of opposite charge.

In the same way, a magnet attracts iron filings from all directions.

This means that packing efficiency in the crystal lattice determines the arrangement of ions in a crystal.

There is no preferred direction for the bonds.

Thus, in a crystal of "NaCl", a sodium ion has 6 chloride ions as nearest neighbours.

The "Na-Cl" "bonds" are all at angles of 90° to each other.

In a crystal of cesium chloride, a cesium ion has eight chloride atoms as nearest neighbours.

The "Cs-Cl" "bonds" are at different angles.

The differences arise because "Cs"^"+" and "Cl"^"-" have almost the same ionic radii (about 170 pm) and pack in one arrangement.

A "Na"^"+" ion is smaller (116 pm) than "Cl"^"-", so the ions pack in a different arrangement.

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