AQA GCSE Chemistry

Revision Notes

2.1.5 Metallic Bonding

Metal Structure & Delocalised Electrons

  • Metals consist of giant structures of atoms arranged in a regular pattern
  • Electrons in the outer shell of metal atoms are lost
  • Individual metal atoms are held together by strong metallic bonds forming a lattice structure
  • This type of bonding occurs in metals and metal alloys, which are mixtures of metal
  • Within the metal lattice, the atoms lose their valence electrons and become positively charged metal ions
  • The valence electrons no longer belong to any specific metal atom and are said to be delocalised
  • This means they can move freely between the positive metal ions and act like a “sea of electrons”

Representing Metallic Bonding -AQA, IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

Diagram showing the ways of representing a metal lattice structure with delocalised electrons

Exam Tip

Delocalised electrons are not transferred as in ionic bonding, they are merely moving freely in the spaces in-between the nuclei of metal atoms.

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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