primary bonds
secondary bonds
bond energy

Introduction 1

Structure of Solid Materials - Atomic Level

Bonding between atoms

diagram of bonding between atomsAll materials are made up of atoms. These atoms are held together by forces (called interatomic bonds). These forces act like springs, linking each atom to its neighbour.

There are several different types of bonds that form between atoms. The type of bonding between atoms can give rise to very different properties. For example graphite and diamond are both carbon, however they exhibit very different properties due to different bonds.

Packing of atoms

The atoms are arranged in different ways in different materials.

Two important aspects of atomic packing are:

1. The number of bonds per unit area, characterised by bond length (hold mouse down on image to see animation).

diagram of bonding between atoms

2. The angle of these bonds (hold mouse down on image to see animation)

diagram of bonding between atoms

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