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Table of Contents


AQA | Unit 1 | Chemistry 1

Page 1 | Atoms, periodic table, chemical reactions

Page 2 | Limestone and Building Materials

Page 3 | Metal and their uses

Page 4 | Crude oil and fuels

Page 5 | Other useful substances from crude oil

Page 6 | Plant oils and their uses

Page 7 | Changes in the earth and its atmosphere

AQA | Unit 2 | Chemistry 2

Page 1 | Structure and Bonding 

 Page 2  | Atomic structure, analysis and quantitative chemistry

Page 3 | Rates of Reactions

Page 4 | Exothermic and Endothermic Reaction

Page 5 | Acids, Bases and Salts

Page 6 | Electrolysis

AQA | Unit 3 | Chemistry 3

Page 1 | The periodic table

Page 2 | Water

Page 3 | Calculating and explaining energy change

Page 4 | Further analysis and quantitative chemistry

Page 5 | The production of ammonia

Page 6 | Alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters


Structure and Bonding

Learning objectives:

 To learn how the arrangement of electrons in atoms can be used to explain what happens when elements react. 

Ionic bonding

Ionic bonding occurs between non-metals and metals. Ionic bonding is the strong electrostatic force of attraction that is present between oppositely charged ions

Ions are electrically charged particles that are formed when an atom loses or gains an electron. The electron leaves from the highest energy level, which is furthest away from the nucleus.

Metal atoms lose electrons and become positively charged electrons Non-metal gains electrons and become negatively charged electrons

The elements in-group 1,2 and 3 will lose electrons based on the group number, for example aluminum will lose 3 electrons, as is it in-group 3

The elements in-group 5,6 and 7 will gain electrons based on the group they are in minus 8, for example oxygen in-group 6 will gain 2 electrons.

Drawing ions

When drawing ions, they are drawn in a specific way, as illustrated below


Lithium is in-group one, and is a metal and therefore will lose one electron and become a positive ion, Li+ is formed.

These set of diagrams will illustrate negative ions formed by the non metal elements

Fluorine, a group 7 element, will gain one electron and form a negative ion.

When metal react with non metals, an ionic compound is formed. This is an electrostatic force of attraction that is present between oppositely charged ions.

For example, if you take the two elements mentioned above.

Lithium + fluorine lithium fluoride


Ionic compounds

When non-metals and metals react they form ionic compounds. Strong electrostatic forces of attraction and the ions hold the ions together from a regular lattice structure.


Formulae of ionic compounds

Ionic compounds are represented by a formula, which helps to highlight the atoms in the compound For example for lithium fluoride, it will be written as LiF. For compounds, which have more than one element attached can be written with brackets. For example iron hydroxide can be written as Fe(OH)3. This formula illustrates one iron atom joined with three oxygen and hydrogen atoms.

When constructing new formulas, we have to take into account the ionic number of the element. For example lithium has a number of +1 and fluorine has a number of -1, therefore we only need one of each to create the formula. In order to form the formula, the two numbers need to cancel each other’s out. So another example, when making the formula for magnesium chloride, magnesium is 2+ and chlorine is a 1-, therefore you would need two chlorines to cancel out the one magnesium, thus creating a MgCl2

Provided below is a list of positive ions and negative ions

Postive ions

Name Formula
Ammonium NH4+
Magnesium Mg2+
Hydrogen H+
Sodium Na+
Calcium Ca2+
Iron Fe2+ or Fe3+
Aluminium Al3+

Negative ions

Name Formula
Flouride F-
Magnesium Mg2+
Hydroxide OH-
Nitrare NO3-
Carbonate CO3-
Sulfate (SO4)2-
Sulfide S2-
Oxide O2-

Covalent bonding

A covalent bond is a very strong bond between two non-metals. It is a shared pair of electrons between the two atoms
The number of lone electrons in its outer shell determines the number of covalent bonds an atom can make.

Covalent bonds are strong, a lot of energy is needed to break them, substances with covalent bonds have low melting an boiling point, for example water.

There is a quick way to work out how many covalent bonds an element can form. The number of covalent bonds an element can form is equivalent to 8 minus the group number .

So for example for oxygen, it is in group 6, so 8-6 = 2.

Drawing covalent bonds

Covalent bonds can be simply represented by a line between the two elements.

Examples of this can be seen below


Dot and cross diagrams

Covalent bonds are represented by dot and cross diagrams.
The simplest one is hydrogen or H2.

dot and cross

When drawing dot and cross diagrams for compounds you need to make sure all the cross over points has one cross and one dot.

Structure properties and uses

Compounds have different properties based on the bonding they undergo.

Simple covalent 

Simple covalent bonds are formed between nonmetals, each bond consists of a shred pair of electrons.
Although the covalent bonds are really hard to break down and require a lot of energy, the intermolecular forces which are present within the molecules re broken down very easily which gives these molecules low melting and boiling points.
They do not conduct electricity because they do not have any free electrons to conduct electricity
Macromolecules have giant covalent structures. This means there are many non metal atoms which are joined to adjacent atoms by covalent bonds. Their atoms are arranged in giant lattices.

These structures have very high letting points, due to the many strong covalent bonds that are present. An example of this is graphite or


Diamond is formed out of many carbon atoms, which are joined on to four other carbon atoms by strong covalent bonds, this ensures that diamond is a very hard substance and has a very high boiling point. However it does not conduct electricity, as there are no free electrons present.


Graphite is another substance that is formed from carbon atoms, however graphite is formed In a different way to diamond. Graphite has layers of carbon sheets that can slide over each other. This illustrates why graphite is much softer than diamond. However graphite can conduct electricity as it has free electrons present within the layers of the carbon sheets


Silica is found is sand and has a similar structure to diamond, however it consists of silicon and oxygen atoms instead of carbon. Silica also has a very high melting point due to the many covalent bonds between the atoms.

Ionic compounds

Ionic compounds form when non-metal and metal ions react.
Ionic bonds are very strong, so a lot of energy is needed to break them; they have very high melting points and boiling points

Ionic compounds can conduct electricity when they are dissolved in water or dissolved, as the ions are free to move and carry and charge. However when they are in the solid state they are in a lattice form. So the ions are in a fixed position and cannot move to carry the charge.


When metals react with metals they form a metallic bond. This is when the positive metal ions are attracted to the electrons in the outer shell of the opposite ion. These electrons are de-localized meaning they are free to move. This ensures that a strong bond remains between the ions.

This is illustrated below


Metals are very good conductors of heat and electricity as they have free electrons which are free to move.

Metals are also malleable as the metals can slie over each other, due to the regular shape they are in.


An alloy is a mixture of one or two elements. Usually alloys are a mixture of two or more metals.


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