Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Richard A. Paselk

Chem 107

Fundamentals of Chemistry

Fall 2009

Lecture Notes: 5 November

© R. Paselk 2005


Water, cont.

We left off last time compring some of water's properties to other substances:

plot of boiling point vs. period for hydrogen compounds showing extreme high boiling points for Period 2 hydrogen compounds

The high mp, bp, and heat capacity all predict relatively strong bonding between water molecules, H-bonding. Note environmental consequences - Earth's weather is much more pleasant because it is moderated by water, especially along coasts. Ice floating prevents "solid" seas, definitely a downer in environmental terms.

Water of course is a covalent structure: H-O-H. But what gives it its special properties is the polarity of its O-H bonds and the resultant dipole moments of the bonds and the molecule itself.

The water molecule itself is bent, with an angle of 104.5° between the hydrogens (compare to 109.5° for sp3 tetrahedron) [slide]. Because of the very strong dipole moments of these bonds and the very small size of the hydrogen substituents on water, a slight degree of orbital overlap occurs between adjacent water oxygens and hydrogens to give partial covalent bonds known a H-bonds (effectively, can only form with O, N, & F). Note that the partial covalent character means that they are directional!

Within solid bulk water (ice) every water molecule is bonded to 4 others, as in the ice structure seen in Figure 10.12 on p 381 [note solid vs. liquid images] In liquid water the molecules are still bonded to a large degree (the heat of fusion for ice is only 13% of the heat of vaporization for ice, thus most of the H-bonds must survive melting). Of course in liquid water the bonds are very unstable (average lifetime about 10 psec = 10-11 sec), exchanging constantly to give a "flickering cluster" structure. The various properties of water arise from this structure. (Note hi bp & mp, heat cap., viscosity, and, less obviously, that ice floats. This is because the molecules are in an open lattice rather than close-packed. G&G note that close-packed molecules would only occupy about 57% of volume. This would lead one to expect that ice would float "high." It doesn't because most of the structure remains in the liquid phase at 0° C.)

Water is also an excellent solvent for polar substances since its dipolar structure enables it to insulate them from each other and it can make good dipole-dipole and dipole-charge bonds. Figure 11.10 on pg. 423 shows the hexavalent liganding of water to sodium and chloride ions to form hydration shells (For sodium ions, the waters in the inner hydration-shell exchange every 2-4 nsec.). Anything which can H-bond will also of course be quite soluble.

Solids and Crystals

Solids: Recall earlier definition - solids have fixed or definite shapes and volumes. By this definition solids are strictly limited to the crystalline solids. (The amorphous (noncrystalline) solids discussed in our text are what we have discussed as supercooled liquids.)

Types of Solids - Read Text chapter 10.4



Solution Concentrations-a Review & Some New Stuff.

Solutions: a solution occurs when one chemical is completely dissolved or dispersed in another. We most commonly think of solutions as being liquid, but solid solutions also occur, such as the various metal alloys like steel, brass and bronze.

In a solution the substance present in highest concentration is considered to be the solvent, while components in lesser amounts are considered to be solutes. If you dissolve a sugar cube in water you get a sugar solution, where water is the solvent, and sugar is the solute.



  • What is the solvent in 80 proof rum: 80 proof = 40% alcohol in water, so water is the solvent.
  • What is the solvent in 151 proof rum: 151 proof = 75.5% alcohol in water, so alcohol is the solvent.

 Concentration Measures

Concentration Terms

Percent Concentration

Mass percent

ppt = parts/thousand (1mg/L of water); ppb = parts/billion (1 microgram/L of water)

Volume percent

Molarity: The most commonly used concentration term in chemistry = moles of solute dissolved in 1 L of solution.

Two types of situation arise giving two kinds of problems:

Making molar solutions.

Dilution problems (see 22 September).

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© R A Paselk

Last modified 5 November 2009