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Simple molecular lattices

Iodine In its crystalline structure, the covalent I2 molecules are held together by weak intermolecular force. Gently warming a small sample of iodine readily produces the purple vapour

Giant Molecular Structure In diamond, each carbon shares electrons with four other carbon atoms - forming four single bonds.


Giant Molecular Structure Graphite has a layer structure Each carbon atom uses three of its electrons to form simple bonds to its three close neighbours. That leaves a fourth electron in the bonding level. These "spare" electrons in each carbon atom become delocalised over the whole of the sheet of atoms in one layer. Graphite

Giant Molecular Structure

Each silicon atom is bridged to its neighbours by an oxygen atom

Ice is an example of hydrogen bonded solid. The hydrogen bonding forces a rather open structure on the ice.

Metallic lattices
Strong metallic bonds hold the crystal together For copper metallic lattice, coordination number 12.


inorganic non-metallic solid which is prepared by heating a substance or mixture of substances to a high temperature.

Physical properties:

a) Melting points Ceramics have high melting points because of the need to break the strong covalent or ionic bonds holding the giant structure together. It takes a very high temperature to do this.

b) Electrical conductivity Most ceramics are good electrical insulators. If they are covalent, there are no free electrons to move around. If they are ionic, the ions aren't free to move in the solid.
Ceramic insulators at railways

c) Strength

The strong bonds holding the atoms (or ions) together in three dimensions will make the ceramic hard and strong, but also brittle.

d) Do not conduct heat

e) Hard
f) Chemically unreactive

Uses of ceramics

The uses of ceramics depend on the materials present in them Magnesium oxide Ceramics made from magnesium oxide are used in (amongst other things):

furnace linings (refractory bricks), because the ceramic has a high melting point (strong forces in the giant structure); heating elements (for example for electric cookers), because the ceramic is good electrical insulator (no free electrons, and the ions aren't free to move in the solid).
Furnace lining

Aluminium oxide
Uses of aluminium oxide ceramics include: as a refractory in furnace linings as an abrasive for grinding hard materials

White aluminium oxide abrasive paper roll

Silicon(IV) oxide (silicon dioxide)

Uses of silicon dioxide ceramics include:

as furnace linings (refractory bricks) in furnaces for the production of glass, because the giant covalent structure has a very high melting point due to the strength of the Si-O covalent bonds in three dimensions. in the manufacture of glass.

Glass consist primarily of silicon dioxide

Alloy is a mixture of two or more metals or a metal with a nonmetal. The metal added to create to create the alloy becomes part of the crystal lattice of the other metal.

Brass alloy of copper (70%) and zinc (30%) used for musical instruments, door handles. stronger than copper but malleable. alloys are stronger than pure metals because the irregularity in the structure helps to stop rows of atoms from slipping over each other.

Pure metal


The layers of ions in an alloy slide less easily than in a pure metal because the structure of the lattice is less regular

Aluminium Pure aluminium is soft, ductile and has high electrical and thermal conductivity. Alloys of aluminium Alloys of aluminium are used for bodies of aircraft, cylinder blocks of car engine and for bicycle frames.

A finite resource is one which doesn't get replaced at the same rate that it is used up. For example, copper is a finite resource.

Recycling materials

It saves energy Conserves supplies of the ore landfill sites do not get filled up as fast and there is less waste it is cheaper than extracting the metal from the ore

Recycling copper is important because:

Less energy is needed to recycle copper than is needed to transport copper ore to the smelting plant and extract copper from it. Less energy is needed to extract and refine the recycled copper so that it is pure enough to be electrolysed.

Recycling aluminium is important because:

It is not necessary to extract the aluminium ore from the ground or to transport it to the smelting plant treatment of bauxite to make pure aluminium oxide for electrolysis does not need to be carried out the aluminium scrap needs less energy to melt it, compared with melting aluminium oxide the expensive electrolysis of aluminium oxide does not need to e carried out