Why do metallic compounds conduct electricity as a solid?

1 Answer
Apr 20, 2014

Answer:

Compounds of metals do not conduct electricity as a solid, but metals are good conductors of electricity.

Explanation:

An electric current consists of the movement of charged particles.

Compounds of metals are salts. They consist of oppositely charged ions.

For example, NaCl consists of Na⁺ and Cl⁻ ions arranged in a crystal lattice.

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The ions in the crystal cannot move, so solid NaCl does not conduct electricity.

In a metal, the valence electrons are loosely held.

They leave their “own” metal atoms, forming a "sea" of electrons surrounding the metal cations in the solid.

The electrons are free to move throughout this electron sea.

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The movement of electrons is an electric current. Thus, metals are good conductors of electricity.

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