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Intramolecular Forces Chemistry Tutorial

Key Concepts

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Comparison of Physical Properties of Substances Based on Intramolecular Forces

The table below summarises the three types of intramolecular forces and how these effect the physical properties of substances.

  Metallic Bonding Ionic Bonding Covalent Bonding
occurs when metal atoms bond to each other cations and anions bond 2 atoms share a pair of electrons and each atom provides 1 electron for the bonding pair.
A coordinate covalent bond (dative bond) forms when 2 atoms share a pair of electrons but one of the atoms provides both electrons for the bonding pair
occurs between metal atoms metal and non-metal ions non-metal atoms
bond characteristics delocalised electrons shared between atoms cations and anions are held together by electrostatic attraction or forces electrons are shared between two atoms
typical example Group 1 (alkali) Metals, eg, Na

Group 2 (alkali earth) Metals, eg, Mg

Transition Metals, eg, Fe

Group 1 Metal + Non-metal, eg, NaCl

Group 2 Metal + a non-metal, eg, MgCl2

Molecular Substances:
Group 17 elements, eg, Cl2
Group 16 non-metals, eg, O2
hydrogen + non-metal, eg, H2O

Coordinate covalent bond examples:
NH4+, H3O+

Three dimensional covalent networks:
Si, C (graphite and diamond), B, SiO2(quartz)

melting point and boiling point high high Molecular Substances: low

Three dimensional covalent networks: high

solubility in water insoluble soluble Molecular Substances: dependent on the intermolecular forces

Three dimensional covalent network solids are insoluble.

conductivity of solid good poor usually poor
conductivity of liquid good good usually poor
conductivity of aqueous solution N/A good usually poor unless the substance reacts with water to form ions (eg, HCl reacts with water to form hydrogen ions and chloride ions)

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1. The bond between a transition metal and a non-metal can be covalent or ionic depending on the relative electronegativities of the elements.

Covalent bonds can also form between transition metal ions and polar covalent molecular species such as water (H2O), ammonia (NH3) and carbon monoxide (CO).
For more information see the complex ions and ligands tutorial.

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