Modelling metals

Metals are placed on the left-hand side of the periodic table. About 80% of the elements in the periodic table are metals.

Metallic structure and bonding

In metals, the electrons leave the outer shells of metal atoms, forming positive metal ions and a 'sea' of delocalised electrons. Metals are solids at room temperature, so the structure of a solid metal consists of closely packed metal ions. These ions are arranged in a regular way to form a metallic lattice structure. The lattice has layers of metal ions.

Delocalised electrons moving freely among an array of tightly packed metal atoms.A model for the structure of metals

Metallic bonding is the strong electrostatic force of attraction between the metal ions and the delocalised electrons.