Molecular Solid - Definition and Examples

What Is a Molecular Solid? Examples of Molecular Solids

A Spoonful of Sugar
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A molecular solid is a type of solid in which molecules are held together by van der Waals forces rather than by ionic or covalent bonds.

Properties of Molecular Solids

The dipole forces are weaker than ionic or covalent bonds. The relatively weak intermolecular forces cause molecular solids to have relatively low melting points, typically less than 300 °C. Molecular solids tend to dissolve in organic solvents.

Most molecular solids are relatively soft, electrical insulators and have low density.

Examples of Molecular Solids

  • water ice
  • solid carbon dioxide
  • sucrose or table sugar
  • hydrocarbons
  • fullerenes
  • sulfur
  • white phosphorus
  • yellow arsenic
  • solid halogens
  • halogen compound with hydrogen (e.g., HCl)
  • pnictogens (N2)
  • light chalcogens (O2)
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Molecular Solid - Definition and Examples." ThoughtCo, Feb. 19, 2017, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, February 19). Molecular Solid - Definition and Examples. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Molecular Solid - Definition and Examples." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 18, 2018).