Check sibling questions

Account for the following: 

(C) Zinc is a comparatively a soft metal, iron and chromium are typically hard

Answer

Metallic bonds are formed when charged ions share electrons and form a closely packed structure.

Weak metallic bonds result in softer metals like zinc, while stronger metallic bonds result in harder metals like chromium.

Cr (3d54s1) has five unpaired electrons in its d-orbitals .

  • This allows it to use these electrons in metallic bonding, thus making stronger bonds.

ELECTRON CONFIGURATION OF CHROMIUM  - Teachoo.jpg

 

Zn (3d104s2) has no unpaired electrons in its d-orbitals. 

  • Since the electrons are already paired, they are unable to participate in bonding.
  • Hence, Zinc makes weaker bonds.

ELECTRON CONFIGURATION OF ZINC  - Teachoo.jpg

As a result of these weak metallic bonds in Zn and strong metallic bonds in Cr , Zn is soft whereas Cr is hard .

 

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Davneet Singh is a graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 12 years. He provides courses for Maths and Science at Teachoo.