Metallic Bonding

Metallic Bonding

  • Metal elements form giant metallic lattice structures
  • Outer shell of electrons of each metal atom is delocalized
  • Metal atoms become positive metal ions
  • Positive metal ions attracted to delocalised electrons
  • Closely packed metal ions among ‘sea’ of delocalised electrons


Property of metals Explanation
High melting/boiling points Giant structure, strong attraction between ions and electrons- the more delocalised electrons per atom, higher mpt/bpt.
Good electricity and heat conductors Delocalised electrons conduct electricity and can pass kinetic energy to each other
Malleable and ductile No bonds holding ions together and ions can slide over each other, new shape is retained.
Strong Electrostatic attractions between ions and electrons. Bigger charge and smaller ions increase strength.
Insoluble (except in liquid metals) Strength of metallic bonds


Metallic bond strength:

  • Increases across a period as more electrons become delocalized
  • Decreases down a group as the atomic radius increases


Magnesium is an example of a metallic crystal with the above properties. Each magnesium atom loses their 2 outer electrons to become Mg2+ ions.