Ionic compound in chemistry is defined as a chemical compound composed of ions held together by electrostatic forces called ionic bonding. The compound is neutral overall, but consists of positively charged ions called cations and negatively charged ions called anions. Ionic compounds are electrically neutral, because the charges are always equal and opposite. These can be simple ions or polyatomic species ions.
Two-element compounds are usually ionic when one element is a metal and the other is a non-metal. Examples include: sodium chloride: NaCl, with Na+ and Cl- ions. Ionic compounds can be more complicated than the two-elements. Examples of polyatomic ionic compounds include: sodium sulfate: Na2SO4, with Na+ and SO42- ions.
Ionic compounds containing hydrogen ions (H+) are classified as acids, and those containing basic ions hydroxide (OH−) or oxide (O2−) are classified as bases. Ionic compounds without these ions are also known as salts and can be formed by acid-base reactions.
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