Testing Ionic and Covalent Bonds

When investigating bonds it is important to determine if they are either Ionic or Covalent bonds to determine the correct state. EAG Laboratories uses state-of-the-art instruments to test ionic or covalent bonds at our Sunnyvale, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Eindhoven facilities. Organic compounds make up the majority of the things we encounter every day, examples of these include the flavors, fragrance and nutrients in our food, clothing & fabric, packaging & containers and anything else made of plastic.

Organic compounds

Organic compounds, also called molecules, consists of atoms that are bound together by covalent bonds.  Carbon is almost unique amongst elements in that it can form innumerable complex molecules, , the backbone of which feature carbon-carbon covalent bonds. The rest of the structure of these molecules is made up of further covalent bonds, of  varying strength, with other common elements, e.g. oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and hydrogen The organic compounds responsible for flavors and fragrance have oxygen, nitrogen and/or sulfur atoms added to the carbon framework. 

Covalent Metrology

Carbon-oxygen covalent bonds

These covalent bonds form functional groups of varying structures that consist of carbon-oxygen bonds, carbon-nitrogen bonds, carbon sulfur bonds. In addition, nitrogen-oxygen bonds and sulfur oxygen bonds.

It’s also possible to have double and triple bonds that are usually very strong but are still covalent in nature.  The nature of the bonds can vary. Using appropriate metrology, we can differentiate between bonds formed by sp, sp2 and sp3 hybridizations that are associated with these covalent bonds. 

Investigating for ionic or covalent bond types

Why is this important?  Food can exhibit off-odors and off-flavors.  This can result from spoilage or contamination.  using the wrong ingredients can cause contamination. In addition, These can occur from a number of different sources.

For example, process lines that were not cleaned properly, packaging materials that are defective, or a host of other possibilities. Identifying the responsible organic compounds is an important part of conducting a root cause analysis.  Applying the correct metrology tools is a key part of this process. Particularly if we want to investigate the covalent bonds that may be an issue. 

Another example where covalent bonds are important is in the investigation of organic materials used in semiconductor processes. In many cases semiconductor thin films are metallic (e.g. Cu or Al) or inorganic in nature. For eaxmple, SiO2, or SiON. However, it is increasingly common to find organic materials with covalent bonds being used (e.g. insulating dielectric films). Therefore, bringing the strongest and most appropriate metrology to address bonding and contaminant problems in such covalent films is desirable

Eurofins EAG has state-of-the-art instruments useful in testing the nature of covalent bonds. These metrology tools includes FTIRNMRXPSLC/MSGC/MS and other mass spectrometry techniques  such as MALDI or TOF-SIMS.

Selection of the appropriate metrology tools

The selection of the appropriate metrology tools is based on the nature of the sample. For instance, a good choice for off odors in food is GC/MS.  In other cases, tools such as XPS can investigate elemental species, inorganic/ionic compounds and covalent materials simultaneously. Such combined instrumentation to address covalent and ionic bonding simultaneously is very powerful and provide useful information about all materials present.

Other metrology tools we have can address the physical properties of the sample (e.g. AFM and Nanoindentation), but in many cases, the root source of a material’s strength can be in the atom to atom bonding structure: is it covalent or ionic? At the structural level XRD can determine the location of atoms relative to each other.

Would you like to learn more about testing ionic and covalent bonds?

Contact us today for your testing ionic and covalent bonds needs. Please complete the form below to have an EAG expert contact you.

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