1e. A brief comparison of types of bonding and structure of substances related to their physical properties

(best studied as you work through Parts 2 to 5)

Doc Brown's Chemistry: Chemical Bonding and structure GCSE/IGCSE/O/IB/AS/A US grade 9-12 Level Revision Notes


You can learn how to classify different types of elements and compounds in terms of their structure and bonding by investigating their:

melting points and boiling points, solubility in water and electrical conductivity (as solids and in solution) of substances such as sodium chloride, magnesium sulphate, hexane, liquid paraffin, silicon(IV) oxide, copper sulphate, and sucrose (sugar).

You can do simple experiments as well as looking up their properties in data books to decide the nature of their structure and chemical bonding involved.

Comparing substances based on the type of bonding holding the atoms together

Property \ bond type Ionic Covalent - relatively small molecules Covalent - giant structures Metallic giant structure
Examples Sodium chloride, magnesium oxide hydrogen, chlorine, ammonia, carbon dioxide, water, wax carbon - diamond, silicon, silicon dioxide copper, iron, gold, sodium
'Picture' of the structure .

~3D except only 2D for metal

(c) doc b
Bonding in structure Giant lattice of oppositely charged ions strongly attracted to each other Relatively few atoms strongly bonded together to form individual molecules - mutual attraction to electrons between the nuclei Giant lattice of many atoms bonded together to form (usually) an extended 3D network. Giant lattice of many atoms (actually positive ions) bonded together by attraction to free moving negative electrons between them
Physical state at room temperature All solid Gas, liquid or solid All solid All solid (except liquid mercury)
Melting/boiling points All relatively high Relatively low Relatively high Mostly high
Electrical conduction Solid NO, When molten or dissolved in water YES - ions free to move Poor or not at all - little or NO free ions or electrons to carry an electric current Very poor or not at all - graphite an exception - does have delocalised electrons in each layer All good conductors - all have free delocalised electrons to carry an electric charge current through the giant lattice

What next?

Recommend next: Part 2 Ionic Bonding: compounds and properties


Sub-index for: Part 1 Introduction to chemical bonding - why? how? and patterns


Index for ALL chemical bonding and structure notes


Perhaps of interest? Materials science pages

Nanoscience Nanotechnology Nanochemistry (index of pages)

Smart Materials Science (alphabetical index at top of page)


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