5e. Comparing and contrasting the properties of metals and non-metals
Brown's Chemistry: Chemical Bonding and structure GCSE level, IGCSE, O, IB, AS, A
level US grade
9-12 level Revision Notes
Contrasting metals and non-metals
different structures, so, not
surprisingly, the properties of non-metals are usually significantly
The bonding in non-metals is covalent,
either producing small gaseous (e.g. hydrogen, H2), liquid (e.g.
bromine Br2), or solid molecules (e.g. sulfur, S8) or
giant covalent structures carbon Cn - diamond or graphite where n
is a very big number!).
Since the bonding is neither metallic (or
ionic), they have
Excluding boron, carbon and silicon
(giant covalent structures), most non-metals have relatively low melting
points and boiling points - weak intermolecular forces between the
molecules, rather than strong metallic or ionic bonds.
Solid non-metals look dull, not sonorous
when struck - don't ring like metals do, more brittle than metals, have lower densities and
poor conductors of heat and electricity compared to metals.
The main chemical difference is:
non-metals in the top-right of the
periodic table, tend to gain electrons to form negative ions (anions) with a
full outer shell of electrons
and metals at the bottom and left of the
periodic table lose electrons to form positive ions (cations).
Just check this out to the left and right
of the black zig-zag line - though some elements near the zig-zag line can
show mixed characteristics and are described as semi-metals or metalloids.
Reactivity of metals -
relate to bonding model xref reactivity page.
Sub-index: Part 5
Metallic Bonding – structure and properties of metals
bonding and structure notes
Perhaps of interest?
Overview of the Periodic Table
metals be made more useful? (useful links)
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