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Covalent Molecular vs. Covalent Network: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 27, 2023
Covalent molecular compounds consist of molecules held together by covalent bonds, whereas covalent network compounds form extended networks of covalently bonded atoms.

Key Differences

Covalent molecular compounds are formed by individual molecules linked by covalent bonds, with distinct molecular units. Covalent network compounds, on the other hand, consist of a continuous network of covalent bonds extending throughout the material.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023
Covalent molecular compounds typically have lower melting and boiling points due to weaker intermolecular forces, whereas covalent network compounds often have high melting and boiling points due to the strength of the covalent network.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023
Covalent molecular compounds are generally non-conductive and vary in solubility, while covalent network compounds are typically insoluble in most solvents and are non-conductive, with some exceptions like graphite.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 27, 2023
Common examples of covalent molecular compounds include water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Examples of covalent network compounds include diamond and silicon carbide (SiC).
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023
Covalent molecular compounds are widely used in various applications due to their diverse chemical properties, while covalent network compounds are valued in industries for their strength and thermal stability.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Basic Unit

Individual molecules
Continuous network of atoms
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

Melting/Boiling Point

Generally lower
Generally higher
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

Electrical Conductivity

Non-conductive (usually)
Non-conductive (with exceptions)
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

Solubility

Variable, depending on compound
Generally insoluble
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

Typical Uses

Diverse, including in daily life
Industrial, high-strength materials
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023
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Covalent Molecular and Covalent Network Definitions

Covalent Molecular

Covalent molecular compounds have lower melting and boiling points.
Methane, a covalent molecular compound, has a low boiling point of -161.5 °C.
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

Covalent Network

Covalent network compounds are solids with atoms interconnected by covalent bonds in a continuous network.
Diamond is a covalent network compound with each carbon atom tetrahedrally bonded to four others.
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

Covalent Molecular

Covalent molecular substances often exist as gases, liquids, or low melting point solids.
Ammonia, a covalent molecular gas, is used widely in industry.
Janet White
Dec 08, 2023

Covalent Network

Covalent network compounds are generally hard and strong.
Quartz, consisting of a covalent network of silicon and oxygen, is extremely hard.
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

Covalent Molecular

Covalent molecular compounds can be polar or nonpolar.
Hydrogen chloride is a polar covalent molecular compound.
Harlon Moss
Dec 08, 2023

Covalent Network

Covalent network compounds are typically insoluble in most solvents.
Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms in a covalent network, is insoluble in water.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 08, 2023

Covalent Molecular

Covalent molecular compounds are composed of molecules bonded covalently.
Water is a covalent molecular compound with two hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to an oxygen atom.
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

Covalent Network

Some covalent network compounds can conduct electricity.
Graphite, a covalent network compound, conducts electricity due to its delocalized electrons.
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

Covalent Molecular

Covalent molecular substances have distinct molecular units.
Carbon dioxide, a covalent molecular compound, consists of discrete CO2 molecules.
Sara Rehman
Dec 08, 2023

Covalent Network

Covalent network structures have very high melting and boiling points.
Silicon carbide, a covalent network compound, is known for its high thermal stability.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

Are covalent molecular compounds typically solid?

They can be solid, liquid, or gas, often with lower melting points.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

What defines a covalent molecular compound?

Covalent molecular compounds consist of molecules bonded by covalent bonds.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

Can covalent molecular compounds conduct electricity?

Generally, they are non-conductive.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Are covalent network compounds conductive?

They are usually non-conductive, but some, like graphite, can conduct electricity.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Give an example of a covalent network compound.

Diamond, made entirely of carbon, is a covalent network compound.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

What is a covalent network compound?

Covalent network compounds are solids with a continuous network of covalently bonded atoms.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 27, 2023

How are covalent molecular compounds used in daily life?

They are prevalent in various forms, from water to organic compounds.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

Do covalent network compounds have high melting points?

Yes, they generally have very high melting points.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

What is an example of a covalent molecular compound?

Water (H2O) is a common example.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Are covalent molecular compounds soluble in water?

Their solubility varies; some are soluble, others are not.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Are all covalent network compounds hard and brittle?

Most are hard, but their brittleness can vary.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Are covalent network compounds thermally stable?

Yes, they are known for their high thermal stability.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

What are the industrial uses of covalent network compounds?

They are used in high-strength materials and electronics.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Do covalent molecular compounds have distinct molecular units?

Yes, they consist of discrete molecular units.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

What's the state of matter for covalent molecular compounds at room temperature?

They can be solid, liquid, or gas at room temperature.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

What's the chemical variability of covalent network compounds?

They are less chemically diverse compared to covalent molecular compounds.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Can covalent molecular compounds be gases?

Yes, many exist as gases, like nitrogen and oxygen.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Can covalent molecular compounds form crystals?

Some can form molecular crystals with weak intermolecular forces.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Is solubility a feature of covalent network compounds?

They are generally insoluble in most solvents.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Is the covalent network structure continuous?

Yes, it's a continuous network of bonded atoms.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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