any chemical compound having a hydrogen atom bonded to a more electropositive element or groups

A hydride is a compound with hydrogen bonded to other elements. Except for a few of the Noble gases, all of the elements in the periodic table can form hydrides. The properties of hydrides can be very different, but some of the hydrides have similar properties.[1]

Metallic hydrides: compounds with ionic bonding. They are very reactive, making them difficult to dissolve. Most alkali metals and alkaline earth metals form ionic hydrides.

Metallic or Interstitial hydrides: These have metallic properties like good electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. They are called interstitial because hydrogen can enter the metallic lattice (framework of metal atoms). Metallic hydrides are mostly formed from the metals in the groups 3 to 5 of the periodic table. Some of these are used in the nickel metal-hydride battery.

Covalent hydrides: These have covalent bonds between hydrogen and the other element. Most of the p-block elements form covalent hydrides. Many of these hydrides are unstable in air or water or when heated. Hydrocarbons are the hydrides of carbon, ammonia is a hydride of nitrogen, and water is a hydride of oxygen.[2]


  1. Chemistry (IUPAC), The International Union of Pure and Applied. "IUPAC - hydron (H02904)". goldbook.iupac.org. doi:10.1351/goldbook.H02904. Retrieved 2021-05-07.
  2. Jackson, Peter F.; Johnson, Brian F. G.; Lewis, Jack; Raithby, Paul R.; McPartlin, Mary; Nelson, William J. H.; Rouse, Keith D.; Allibon, John; Mason, Sax A. (1980-01-01). "Direct location of the interstitial hydride ligand in [HRu6(CO)18]– by both X-ray and neutron analyses of [Ph4As][HRu6(CO)18]". Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications (7): 295–297. doi:10.1039/C39800000295. ISSN 0022-4936.