Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

Thermodynamics of Lattices

Lattice enthalpy is a measure of the strength of the forces between the ions in an ionic solid. The greater the lattice enthalpy, the stronger the forces. Those forces are only completely broken when the ions are present as gaseous ions, scattered so far apart that there is negligible attraction between them.

  • Lattice Energy
    The Lattice energy, U, is the amount of energy requried to separate a mole of the solid (s) into a gas (g) of its ions.
  • Lattice Energy: The Born-Haber cycle
    Ionic solids tend to be very stable compounds. The enthalpies of formation of the ionic molecules cannot alone account for this stability. These compounds have an additional stability due to the lattice energy of the solid structure. However, lattice energy cannot be directly measured. The Born-Haber cycle allows us to understand and determine the lattice energies of ionic solids.
  • Lattice Enthalpies and Born Haber Cycles
    Lattice enthalpy is a measure of the strength of the forces between the ions in an ionic solid. The greater the lattice enthalpy, the stronger the forces. Those forces are only completely broken when the ions are present as gaseous ions, scattered so far apart that there is negligible attraction between them. You can show this on a simple enthalpy diagram.
  • The Born-Lande' equation
    The Born-Landé equation is a concept originally formulated in 1918 by the scientists Born and Lande and is used to calculate the lattice energy (measure of the strength of bonds) of a compound. This expression takes into account both the Born interactions as well as the Coulomb attractions.