Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry

Revision Notes

1.8.1 Metallic Bonding

Metallic Bonding

  • Metal atoms are held together strongly by metallic bonding
  • Within the metal lattice, the atoms lose their valence electrons and become positively charged
  • The valence electrons no longer belong to any metal atom and are said to be delocalised
  • They move freely between the positive metal ions like a sea of electrons
  • Metallic bonds are strong and are a result of the attraction between the positive metal ions and the negatively charged delocalised electrons

Structure & bonding in a metal, IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

Diagram showing metallic lattice structure with delocalised electrons

Exam Tip

The properties of metals can be modified, sometimes significantly, by mixing it with another metal or non-metal to create and alloy

Explaining the Properties of Metals

The link between metallic bonding and the properties of metals

  • Metals have high melting and boiling points
    • There are many strong metallic bonds in giant metallic structures
    • A lot of heat energy is needed to overcome forces and break these bonds
  • Metals conduct electricity
    • There are free electrons available to move and carry charge
    • Electrons entering one end of the metal cause a delocalised electron to displace itself from the other end
    • Hence electrons can flow so electricity is conducted
  • Metals are malleable and ductile
    • Layers of positive ions can slide over one another and take up different positions
    • Metallic bonding is not disrupted as the valence electrons do not belong to any particular metal atom so the delocalised electrons will move with them
    • Metallic bonds are thus not broken and as a result metals are strong but flexible
    • They can be hammered and bent into different shapes without breaking

Summary Table of the Physical Properties of Metals

Summary Table of the Physical Properties of Metals, downloadable IGCSE & GCSE 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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