8 Major Difference Between Molecule And Compound (With Chart)

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What Is Molecule?

A molecule can be described as two or more atoms of the same or different element that are bound together by chemical bonds. Each atom carries a certain number of electrons that orbit around nucleus. A molecule may be homonuclear, which means, it consist of atoms of one chemical element as with oxygen (O2) or it may be heteronuclear, a chemical compound composed of more than one element as with water (H2O). 

Molecules are neutral and carry no charge; this property distinguishes them from polyatomic ions such as (NO3-). Molecules are generally too small to be seen by naked eyes. Molecular size varies depending on the number of atoms that make up the molecule.

Examples of molecules include:

  • Ozone (O3)
  • Oxygen (O2)
  • Dinitrogen (N2)
  • Water (H2O), etc.

A molecule is formed when two or more atoms of an element chemically join together. If the types of atoms are different from each other, a compound is formed. Not all molecules are compounds, since some molecules oxygen or ozone consist only of one element or type of an atom.

Water is also a molecule because it is made from atoms that have been chemically combined. But water is also a compound since the atoms that make water are not all the same. Water (H2O) is made from one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms.

What You Need To Know About Molecule

  1. A molecule is a group of two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds.
  2. All molecules are not compounds.
  3. Molecules can be heteronuclear or homonuclear and are unstable. 
  4. Molecules may have either ionic or covalent bonds.
  5. Molecules cannot be seen with naked eyes as they are at atomic level.

What Is A Compound?

A compound is a substance that results from a combination of two or more different chemical elements in such a way that the atom’s of the different elements are held together by chemical bonds that are difficult to break. These bonds form as a result of the sharing or exchange of electron’s among the atoms.

 A compound can be separated into simpler substances by chemical methods/reactions. A compound is represented using its chemical formula that represents the symbols of its constituent elements and the number of atoms of each element in one molecule of the compound.  Examples of compounds include: Sodium chloride, potassium nitrate, nitric acid, potassium hydroxide, calcium nitrate, calcium chloride etc.

Types Of Compound

There are four types of chemical compound that exist:

  • Molecular compound: Molecular compound refers to a neutral group of two or more atoms that are seized together by chemical bonds.
  • Ionic Compound: Ionic Compound refers to a chemical compound that consists of ions held together due to ionic bonding.
  • Intermetallic Compounds: An intermetallic compound refers to a particular type of metal alloy which forms a solid-state compound and displays distinct stoichiometry and crystal structure.
  • Coordinate Compound: Coordinate compound refer to certain complexes that are held together by the coordinate covalent bonds.

What You Need To Know About Compound

  1. A compound is a substance or material which is formed by two or more different types of elements which are combined chemically in a fixed proportion.
  2. All compounds are molecules.
  3. Compounds are heteronuclear molecules and are always stable as they are in physical form.
  4. Compounds have either ionic , molecular or metallic or covalent bonds.
  5. A compound can easily be seen with a naked eye.

Difference Between Molecule And Compound In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON MOLECULE COMPOUND
Description A molecule is a group of two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds.   A compound is a substance or material which is formed by two or more different types of elements which are combined chemically in a fixed proportion.  
Nature All molecules are not compounds.   All compounds are molecules.  
Stability Molecules can be heteronuclear or homonuclear and are unstable.    Compounds are heteronuclear molecules and are always stable as they are in physical form.  
Bonds Molecules may have either ionic or covalent bonds.   Compounds have either ionic or metallic or covalent bonds.  
Visibility Molecules cannot be seen with naked eyes as they are at atomic level.   A compound can easily be seen with a naked eye.  
Examples Ozone (O3), Oxygen (O2), Dinitrogen (N2), water (H2O), etc.   Calcium carbonate (CaCo3), Sodium chloride (NaCl), nitric acid (HNO3)etc.