How is Hydrogen Cyanide bonded?

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Offline jeffreyquach

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How is Hydrogen Cyanide bonded?
« on: 17/03/2014 07:24:29 »
Is it bonded ionically or covalently?

Its name 'Hydrogen Cyanide' follows the naming conventions of an ionic compound.
Cyanide is a polyatomic ion of CN-. This would allow it form an ionic bond with a hydrogen cation.

However, they are both non-metals, thus cannot be bonded ionically. If it is bonded covalently, why is it named in such a way?

Thankyou :)

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Offline chiralSPO

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Re: How is Hydrogen Cyanide bonded?
« Reply #1 on: 18/03/2014 18:14:07 »
The C and N are bound covalently.

The bond between H and C is also covalent, but it is easily ionized. Hydrogen cyanide is a weak acid, like hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen fluoride. All exist as covalently bound molecules, but they will dissociate (to some extent) into ions when dissolved in water.

Even though C and H have very similar electronegativities, that is a very simplistic view. The CN unit together is very electronegative.

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Offline Bored chemist

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Re: How is Hydrogen Cyanide bonded?
« Reply #2 on: 18/03/2014 20:41:44 »
If it is bonded covalently, why is it named in such a way?

Thankyou :)

History.
It was named before the bonding was known.
However, it's fair to say that quite a lot of compounds have similar names; the sulphide, chloride selenide iodide and so on.
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