The phrase "chemical property" is context-dependent, but generally refers to a material's quality which becomes evident during a chemical reaction; this is, which can only be established by changing a substance's chemical identity. Simply speaking, chemical properties typically cannot be determined by just viewing or touching the substance; the substance internal structure must be affected to investigate its chemical property.
Chemical properties can be contrasted with physical properties. However, for many properties within the subject and methods of physical chemistry (and many other disciplines at the border of chemistry and physics), the distinction may be a matter of researcher's perspective. The properties can often be viewed as supervenient, i.e., secondary to the underlying reality (several layers of superveniency are possible).
The term is used to encompass
- Ionization potential
- Reactivity against other chemical substances
- Heat of combustion
- Preferred oxidation state(s)
- Coordination number
- Capability to undergo a certain set of transformations e.g. molecular dissociation, chemical combination, redox reactions under certain physical conditions in the presence of another chemical substance
- Preferred types of bonds to form e.g., metallic, ionic, covalent
Chemical properties can be used for building chemical classifications.
Examples of really simple chemical properties for students:
- Gasoline -- burns in air
- Water -- does not burn in air
- Iron -- rusts
- Gold -- does not rust
- Baking Soda -- reacts with vinegar
- Table salt -- does not react with vinegar
- Copper -- rusts in water
- Physical property
- Chemical structure
- Biological activity
- QSAR, quantitative structure-affinity relationship
- Lipinski's Rule of Five, describing molecular properties of drugs