Explain why CO2 is a gas while SiO2 is a solid at room temperature.

Answers (1)

Carbon dioxide is a linear structure with two double bonds between carbon and oxygen. It is a small molecule and non-polar with only weak bonds between the molecules. Hence it is a gas.

Silicon dioxide is not formed of small molecules. It consists of an infinite array of silicons where each silicon is bonded to four separate oxygens (and each oxygen is shared between two silicons). This creates a strong refractory solid (glass and sand are mostly silicon dioxide aka silica). 

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