The Difference Between Ionic and Molecular Compound

The Difference between Ionic and Molecular Compound: Compounds are pure substances that are combined with two or more elements.  The major difference between both compounds is that ionic compounds are formed by the transfer of electrons but in molecular compounds, electrons are shared among constituent elements. 

Ionic and Molecular Compound

The most significant difference between ionic and molecular compounds is in their formation. Ionic compounds are usually formed by the transfer of electrons while molecular compounds are formed by the sharing of electrons.


However, molecular compounds are also called covalent compounds while ionic compounds have ionic bonds and molecular compounds have covalent bonds. There are also molecular compounds with single, double and triple covalent bonds.

Ionic compounds are crystalline with ions formed by a three-dimensional lattice network. Solid molecular compounds are formless and have a powdery texture. These compounds are usually solid, while molecular compounds are found in all three states of matter.

Ionic compounds have a higher boiling and melting points compared to molecular compounds. Ionic compounds also conduct electricity in their liquid state and in their liquid solutions. Molecular compounds are weak conductors of heat and electricity. Ionic compounds are usually solvent in water but not in organic liquids. Molecular compounds are unsolvable in water but soluble in most organic liquids.

Ionic Compound

Ionic compounds are the result of ionic bonds; these bonds are formed through the electricity forces between atoms that attract them towards each other because of opposite electrical charges. Each element tries to gain a stable electronic configuration, i.e. the electronic configuration of the inert gasses.

The atoms that have already gained a noble gas electronic configuration are not responsive since they are already stable. But the elements that have not achieved a stable electronic configuration likely give away or receive the required number of electrons to gain the closest noble gas configuration. Ions are formed by this principle.

The atoms that give away the extra electron(s) to gain a stable electronic configuration become positively charged and these are called “cations.”

In the same manner, the atoms that get the extra electron(s) to achieve a stable electronic configuration end up being negatively charged, and they are called “anions.” Hence, ionic bonds are formed between anions and cations.

Molecular Compound

Molecular compounds are called molecules to be short. Majority of the existing molecular compounds consist of a lot of atoms like the table sugar, sucrose, which is chemically written as C12H22O11. It implies that it has 12 atoms of carbon, 22 atoms of hydrogen, and 11 atoms of oxygen.

However, in molecular compounds, the attraction of atoms is called a covalent bond. Molecular compounds usually have little or no electrical conductivity properties. These types of compounds are frequently formed between two nonmetals. 

Molecular compounds have very low boiling and melting points. As it has been said, they are weak electrical conductors and can only conduct compactly unless the molecular compounds are in liquid and polar. However, at standard temperature and pressure (STP), these compounds can be in different states such as solid, gas, or liquid.

The Difference Between Ionic and Molecular Compound

1. Ionic compounds are made by achieving or losing the electrons. Covalent compounds are made by sharing the electrons.

2. Ionic compounds are great conductors of electricity but covalent compounds are weak conductors of electricity.

3. Ionic compounds are solvent in water while covalent compounds are not.

4. Compounds with ionic bonds have no specific shape.

5. Ionic compounds have a very high boiling or melting point while covalent compounds have low melting or boiling point.

6. Sodium chloride and sulfuric acid is a good example of Ionic compounds.

7. Methane and HCL have a covalent bond.