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Molecules and ModelsThe molecular structures of main group element compounds$
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Arne Haaland

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199235353

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235353.001.0001

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Gaseous alkali metal halides: ionic bonds

Gaseous alkali metal halides: ionic bonds

(p.65) Chapter 5 Gaseous alkali metal halides: ionic bonds
Molecules and Models

Arne Haaland

Oxford University Press

The evaporation of an alkali metal halide (MX) yields a mixture of monomers and smaller amounts of dimers, trimers, and tetramers. This chapter describes the monomers in terms of their electric dipole moments, dissociation energies, and bond distances. The spherical ion model is used to construct potential energy curves and to calculate dissociation energies in reasonable agreement with their experimental counterparts from the experimental bond distances. Similar calculations on the dimers and on crystals with rock salt structure indicate that the M-X bond distances should be 5% and 15%, respectively, longer than in the monomers. The polarizable ion model leads to significantly better agreement between experimental and calculated electric dipole moments than the spherical ion model. Finally, the crystal structures of compounds containing a negatively charge alkali metal atom or even an isolated electron as cations are described.

Keywords:   ionic compounds, electric dipole moments, dissociation energies, spherical ion model, potential energy curve, Born repulsion, alkali metal halide dimers, ionic radii, polarizable ion model

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