# Crystal Lattice Structure

## The crystal lattice structure of ionic compounds

Ionic substances are actually a combination of lots of ions bonded together into a giant molecule. The arrangement of ions in a regular, geometric structure is called a crystal lattice. So in fact $$\text{NaCl}$$ does not contain one $$\text{Na}$$ and one $$\text{Cl}$$ ion, but rather a lot of these two ions arranged in a crystal lattice where the ratio of $$\text{Na}$$ to $$\text{Cl}$$ ions is 1:1. The structure of the crystal lattice is shown below.

The crystal lattice arrangement in $$\text{NaCl}$$

A space filling model of the sodium chloride lattice