Naming Compounds Examples

Naming Compounds

The generation of a name for a chemical compound is an exact science, one that is vital in chemistry and other fields. More important than just selecting a name for a chemical compound, the name must be able to inform chemists of the exact makeup of the compound based on how the names are arranged, must be universally applied throughout the chemistry world, and must translate readily into every other language in order to avoid errors, many of which could be deadly.

There are certain exact processes for naming a compound, depending on the type of compound it is and what components it contains. If a compound has a single cation, for example, its name will be structured differently than if it is an acid that contains common elements.

Examples of Naming Compounds:

1. Naming Binary Metal-Nonmetal Compounds - The name of the metal is first and the name of the nonmetal has -ide added. Therefore, an atom of sodium and an atom of chlorine are bonded to form NaCl, spoken as sodium chloride. But, if it's possible that there are different charges for the metal, the Stock Method requires us to indicate which of the ions is using the charge by writing it in Roman numerals (such as FeCl2 is Iron (II) chloride). However, it's acceptable to use the common name if there's more than one possible ion for the metal. Then, the Latin root and the suffix -ousare used for the lower charge, while the suffix -icis used for the higher charge.

2. Naming Binary Nonmetal-Nonmetal Compounds - Always start with element that is found to the left on the periodic table, then add the suffix -ide to the second element. Be sure to adhere to Greek prefixes to indicate the number of atoms, so many of these compounds will contain mono, di, tri, tetra, penta, hexa, hepta, octa, nona, or deca.

3. Acids - Hydro acids are named according to the hydrogen atom mentioned at the front, followed by the halogen, with the suffix -ic added to the end. This is all preceded by the word, "acid." For example, H + Cl = hydro-chloric-acid, or hydrochloric acid, HCl. Oxo acids, however, are polyatomic ions that have a hydrogen at the front of the formula. The name works just like with hydro- acids, except for the use of the suffix -ous or -ic if it is an acid containing more oxygen atoms.

4. Polyatomic compounds - Just as the name implies, a polyatomic ion contains more than one atom. The atom with the positive charge is on the left (according tothe Stock Method), and the atom with the negative charge is on the right. Parentheses are used to indicate the amount of polyatomic ions present, if needed for clarity.

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