Lithium Chloride

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Lithium chloride (LiCl) is an ionic compound. It has a lewis structure. Ionic compounds are formed when two atoms of the same element bond with each other through the transfer of electrons. In chemical bonding, atoms try to attain a full set of eight electrons in their valence shell (also known as the noble gas configuration). Atoms achieve this by sharing their valence electrons with other atoms through covalent bonding or by donating them to nonmetal atoms, through ionic bonding.

Lithium is a Block S, Group 1, Period 2 metal with an atomic number of 3. It has one electron in its valence shell (2s1) and has the lowest nonmetallic character among the alkali metals. Its high valence electron affinity and low electronegativity make it very reactive with other atoms, resulting in the formation of ionic compounds.

When a lithium salt is heated, the electrons absorb heat energy and jump to a higher energy level. When they return to their lower energy states, they release the photons of light we see. These emitted photons form an emission spectrum, allowing us to identify the specific salt. Different metallic atoms have unique electronic configurations, which create the different color spectral lines observed in flame tests.