sodium chloride structure, NaCl: sodium chloride is an ionic crystal consisting of vast arrays of positively charged sodium ions (Na+) and negatively charged chloride ions (Cl-). Each ion is surrounded by 6 ions of opposite charge. The oppositely charged ions lie on axes at right angles to each other (like the x, y, and z axes in geometry). This arrangement maximises the contact between oppositely charged ions and minimises the contact between similarly charged ions.
APPEARANCE: is a clear crystalline substance that dissolves readily in water (salt water).
ALTERNATIVE NAMES: salt, common salt, table salt, rock salt, halite, evaporite (when it is left after salt water has evaporated), brine (when dissolved in water).
INDUSTRIAL & COMMERCIAL USES: source of chlorine gas (via electrolysis of salt water), food storage and flavour enhancement, de-icing roads