AQA GCSE Chemistry

Revision Notes

2.1.1 Chemical bonds

Combining Atoms

  • Atoms combine with other atoms through the movement of electrons, which could be considered as the “language of chemistry”
  • They do this in order to achieve a greater level of stability, which is reached when the atom obtains a full outer shell of electrons
  • Atoms can combine in one of three ways, all of which involve the formation of strong chemical bonds
  • These are ionic bonds, covalent bonds, and metallic bonds
  • Ionic bonds:
    • Takes place when metals and non-metals react by transferring electrons
    • The atoms involved are oppositely charged particles (known as ions) in which electron transfer occurs
    • The opposite charges attract through electrostatic forces
  • Covalent bonds:
    • non-metal atoms share pairs of electrons between each other
  • Metallic bonds:
    • This type of bonding occurs in metals and metal alloys (mixtures of metals)

Exam Tip

Intermolecular forces are not chemical bonds. Electron transfer or sharing does not occur, and no new compounds are formed. Typically, intermolecular forces are around one-tenth the strength of a chemical bond.

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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