The characteristics of electrovalent or ionic compounds are :
1. Electrovalent compounds are made up of positively and negatively charged ions. For example, sodium chloride (NaCl) is made up of Na+ and Cl– ions arranged in a definite order in three dimensions to form crystals.
2. Electrovalent compounds have high melting and boiling points. This is due to the presence of strong electrostatic forces of attraction between the positive and negative ions. A large amount of heat energy is required to break this force of attraction. Hence, the melting and boiling points of electrovalent compounds are high.
3. Electrovalent compounds are usually soluble in water but insoluble in organic solvents like benzene, acetone, carbon disulphide, carbon tetrachloride, etc.
4. Electrovalent compounds conduct electricity in molten state and in their aqueous solutions.
In solid electrovalent compounds the ions are held together in fixed positions and they cannot move. Hence, electrovalent compounds in the solid state do not conduct electricity.
When an electrovalent compound is dissolved in water or is melted, the crystal structure breaks down. The ions now become free to move d hence they can conduct electricity.