CIE AS Chemistry (9701) exams from 2022

Revision Notes

2.1.2 Period 3 Elements: Structure & Bonding

Period 3: Structure & Bonding

Melting point

Melting points of the elements across Period 3 table

The Periodic Table - Table 3_Properties of the Elements in Period 3, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

The Periodic Table - Melting Point Graph, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Ions of Period 3 elements with increasing positive charge (metals) and increasing of outer electrons across the period

  • The above trends can be explained by looking at the bonding and structure of the elements

Bonding & structure of the elements table

The Periodic Table - Table 4_Properties of the Elements in Period 3, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

  • The table shows that Na, Mg and Al are metallic elements which form positive ions arranged in a giant lattice in which the ions are held together by a ‘sea’ of delocalised electrons around them

 

The Periodic Table - Metallic Lattice, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

Metal cations form a giant lattice held together by electrons that can freely move around

  • The electrons in the ‘sea’ of delocalised electrons are those from the valence shell of the atoms
  • Na will donate one electron into the ‘sea’ of delocalised electrons, Mg will donate two and Al three electrons
  • As a result of this, the metallic bonding in Al is stronger than in Na
  • This is because the electrostatic forces between a 3+ ion and the larger number of negatively charged delocalised electrons is much larger compared to a 1+ ion and the smaller number of delocalised electrons in Na
  • Because of this, the melting points increase going from Na to Al

 

  • Si has the highest melting point due to its giant molecular structure in which each Si atom is held to its neighbouring Si atoms by strong covalent bonds

 

  • P, S, Cl and Ar are non-metallic elements and exist as simple molecules (P4, S8, Cl2 and Ar as a single atom)
  • The covalent bonds within the molecules are strong, however, between the molecules, there are only weak instantaneous dipole-induced dipole forces
  • It doesn’t take much energy to break these intermolecular forces
  • Therefore, the melting points decrease going from P to Ar (note that the melting point of S is higher than that of P as sulphur exists as larger S8 molecules compared to the smaller P4 molecule)

Electrical conductivity

  • The electrical conductivity decreases going across the Period 3 elements

Electrical conductivity decreases Period 3 elements table

The Periodic Table - Table 5_Properties of the Elements in Period 3, downloadable AS & A Level Chemistry revision notes

  • Going from Na to Al, there is an increase in the number of valence electrons that are donated to the ‘sea’ of delocalised electrons
  • Because of this, in Al there are more electrons available to move around through the structure when it conducts electricity, making Al a better electrical conductor than Na

 

  • Due to the giant molecular structure of Si, there are no delocalised electrons that can freely move around within the structure
  • Si is therefore not a good electrical conductor and is classified as a semimetal (metalloid)
  • The lack of delocalised electrons is also why P and S cannot conduct electricity
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