The delocalization that valence electrons in metals leads come the development of a “sea that electrons” roughly positively charged ions(cations) inside the atom. This delocalization is defined using the electron sea model. 

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Ionic Bonding occurs due to the transport of electron from one atom come another. Ionic bonds sign up with metals to non-metals. Similarly, covalent bonding takes ar when two atoms share your valence electrons. This bonding binds non-metals come non-metals. The type of chemical bond that metals type with each other is metallic bonding. The valence electrons within a metal are cost-free to move because of its low electronegativity (low attraction to electrons). This valence electrons space shared by confident ions (nuclei). The sharing of electrons provides metallic bonding comparable to covalent bonding but these valence electrons will be shared by multiple atoms unlike in covalent bonding wherein electron-sharing wake up only in between two atoms. This model, wherein cations are surrounded by a sea of valence electron is referred to as the “Electron Sea Model”. This design was propose in 1900 through Paul Drude.

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Working that Metallic Bond

The outermost orbitals (s and p) of a metal overlap in which at-least one of the valence electron participating in a metallic link is not mutual with an nearby atom and also doesn’t type an ion as well. Instead, this electrons kind an “Electron Sea” where lock are complimentary to relocate from one atom to another without being linked with any certain pair that atoms. In various other words, the valence electrons are delocalized, capable of wandering freely throughout the entire crystal.The atoms that lost electrons end up being positive ions and also the interaction in between these ions and the “electron sea” leads to a binding force that holds the metallic decision together.


Sodium (Na) has one valence electron in that outermost shell(1s²2s²2p⁶3s¹). Metallic sodium has variety of Na⁺ ions which room surrounded by sea of “3s” electrons (Na⁺ since it just loses an electron). The sea of electron is common by every the salt cations and neutralizing the optimistic charge.


Sodium has relatively low variety of electrons in the electron sea and therefore the melts conveniently (at short temperature).

Metallic Bonding in Magnesium: The digital configuration the Magnesium (Mg) is 1s²2s²2p⁶3s². It has two electrons in that is outermost shell. Both these electrons end up being delocalized. As a result, magnesium crystal contains range of “Mg²⁺ ” ions and the electron sea contains twice the variety of electrons than in sodium. Because of this huge electron density and greater magnitude of charge, magnesium’s melting suggest is higher than that of sodium.

Physical properties of Metals

Electron Sea Model defines the physical properties of steels such together conductivity, ductility, malleability and thermal conductivity.

Conductivity: Due come its free-flowing nature, electron inside a metal can crystal travel in arbitrarily directions. Because electricity is defined together the movement of charge, metals conduct electricity because of the visibility of “delocalized electrons”. Once an electrical field is applied, this free-flowing electrons will move in one direction thereby resulting in current.


Malleability and Ductility: Malleability the a steel is that is ability to deform under tension whereas ductility is the capability to big under stress. As soon as a steel is hammered on, the sea of electron acts like a cushion. Due to this, the ingredient of the metal is not changed. The protons can be rearranged however the “electron sea” keeps the metal intact.


Thermal Conductivity: When warmth is used to any part of the metal, the cost-free electrons the that part get huge amount of energy and start to move in a zig-zag motion. Thus, the heat energy is transferred to all parts of the metal and thermal conductivity is also high.

Luster: The shining nature of metals is likewise due come the “electron sea” together in as soon as light access time a metal, the photon energy is absorbed by the electrons and also they obtain excited to higher energy levels. Castle return ago to your ground states conveniently thereby emitting irradiate in the process. This emission of light features a shiny metallic luster to the metal.

High Melting and Boiling Points: The attractive force between metal atoms is quite strong due to the an effective metallic bonding. In-order to break this force, a big amount of power is needed. This is the reason why metals have actually high melting and also boiling points with a couple of exceptions prefer zinc, cadmium and also mercury.

Limitations the the Electron Sea Model

Even though “Electron Sea Model” answers many properties the metals, some facets like resistance to electric conductance” and solid state insulators cannot be explained by the electron sea model. All these monitorings from the physics properties the the metals are only qualitative and cannot it is in tested. The “Electron Sea Model” concept stands together an oversimplified version of metallic bonding.

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