CIE AS Chemistry (9701) exams from 2022

Revision Notes

1.3.6 Metallic Bonding

Metallic Bonding: Definition

  • Metal atoms are tightly packed together in lattice structures
  • When the metal atoms are in lattice structures, the electrons in their outer shells are free to move through the structure
  • The free-moving electrons are called ‘delocalised electrons’ and they are not bound to their atom
  • When the electrons are delocalised, the metal atoms become positively charged
  • The positive charges repel each other and keep the neatly arranged lattice in place
  • There are very strong electrostatic forces between the positive metal centres and the ‘sea’ of delocalised electrons

Chemical Bonding Diagram to show metallic bonding, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

The positive metal centres are suspended in a ‘sea’ of delocalised electrons

  • The strength of electrostatic attraction can be increased by:
    • Increasing the number of delocalised electrons per metal atom
    • Increasing the positive charges on the metal centres in the lattice
    • Decreasing the size of the metal ions
  • Due to the delocalised ‘sea’ of electrons, metallic structures have some characteristic properties

Metallic bonding table

Chemical Bonding Table_7, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Author: Francesca

Fran has taught A level Chemistry in the UK for over 10 years. As head of science, she used her passion for education to drive improvement for staff and students, supporting them to achieve their full potential. Fran has also co-written science textbooks and worked as an examiner for UK exam boards.
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