Nature of the Metallic Bond

The nature of the metallic bond

The structure of a metallic bond is quite different from covalent and ionic bonds. In a metallic bond, the valence electrons are delocalised, meaning that an atom’s electrons do not stay around that one nucleus. In a metallic bond, the positive atomic nuclei (sometimes called the “atomic kernels”) are surrounded by a sea of delocalised electrons which are attracted to the nuclei (see figure below).

Definition: Metallic bond

Metallic bonding is the electrostatic attraction between the positively charged atomic nuclei of metal atoms and the delocalised electrons in the metal.


Positive atomic nuclei (+) surrounded by delocalised electrons (•)

Ball and stick model of copper

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