Structure and properties

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  • Created by: Holly45
  • Created on: 15-03-15 12:12

Metallic structure

  • metals consist of giant structures
  • metallic bonds involve 'free electrons' which are delocalised
  • the electrons are free to move around which is why they are good conductors of electricity
  • the electrons hold the atoms together in a regular structure and there are strong electrostatic attraction
  • they allow the layers of atoms to slide over each other, allowing atoms be bent and shaped
  • mix 2 pure metals together to create an alloy
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Covalent substances


  • the atoms form very strong covalent bonds to form small molecules of several atoms
  • no electrical charge
  • forces of attraction are weak
  • low melting and boiling points
  • most of them are liquids and gases at room temperature
  • no charges ions
  • don't conduct electricity
  • main examples are diamond and graphite, both made of carbon and silicon dioxide
  • no free electrons
  • no conductivity
  • 4 covalent bonds
  • good conductor of electricity and heat
  • 3 covalent bonds
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  • bonds between molecule chains determine the properties of the plastic
  • weak forces: individual tangled chains of polymers, held together by weak intermolecular forces are free to slide over each other
  • strong forces: some plastics have strong intermolecular forces between the polymers chains called cross links


  • don't have cross links between chains
  • forces between chains are easy to overcome
  • hardens into a new shape


  • have cross links
  • hold chains together in a solid structure
  • the polymer doesn't soften when it's heated
  • strong, hard and rigid
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New materials

  • nanoparticles include fullerenes
  • nanoparticles behave differently from the materials they are made from
  • nanoparticles have a huge surface area to volume ratio
  • they could be uses to make stronger, lighter building materials
  • nanotubes conduct electricity
  • smart materials behave differently depending on the conditions
  • nitionol is used for dental braces and when it's cool, you can bend and twist it
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