Structure and Bonding
Metals typically consist of close-packed atoms, meaning that the atoms are arranged like closely packed spheres. Two packing motifs are common, one being body-centered cubic wherein each metal atom is surrounded by eight equivalent atoms. The other main motif is face-centered cubic where the metal atoms are surrounded by six neighboring atoms. Several metals adopt both structures, depending on the temperature.
In a metal, atoms readily lose electrons to form positive ions (cations). Those ions are surrounded by de-localized electrons, which are responsible for the conductivity. The solid thus produced is held together by electrostatic interactions between the ions and the electron cloud, which are called metallic bonds.
Read more about this topic: Metal
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