a chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one element held together by chemical bonds. two atoms of the same element bonded in a molecule do not form a chemical compound, since this would require two different elements.
there are four types of compounds, depending on how the constituent atoms are held together:
- molecules held together by covalent bonds
- ionic compounds held together by ionic bonds
- intermetallic compounds held together by metallic bonds
- certain complexes held together by coordinate covalent bonds.
a chemical formula specifies the number of atoms of each element in a compound molecule, using the standard abbreviations for the chemical elements and numerical subscripts. for example, a water molecule has formula h2o indicating two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. many chemical compounds have a unique cas number identifier assigned by the chemical abstracts service. globally, more than 350,000 chemicals compounds (including mixtures of chemicals) have been registered for production and use.
a compound can be converted to a different chemical composition by interaction with a second chemical compound via a chemical reaction. in this process, bonds between atoms are broken in both of the interacting compounds, and new bonds formed.
|pure water (h2o) is an example of a compound: the ball-and-stick model of the molecule (above) shows the spatial association of two parts hydrogen (white) and one part(s) oxygen (red)|