Mammoth Memory

Properties of simple covalent structures

Substances with simple covalent structures have low melting points

Most covalent substances are a gas or liquid at room temperature. This is because although the covalent bonds between the atoms are very strong, the bonds between each molecule are very weak.


Covalent bonds are very strong between atoms but bonds are very weak giving water flow and movement through gasses
H2O has a low melting point; below 0⁰C, it is a solid and above 0⁰C it is a liquid or gas.


Examples of simple covalent structures: water and oxygen

Image showing weak inter-molecular bonds but covalent bonds are very strong

Simple covalent structures do not conduct electricity

Simple covalent molecules cannot conduct electricity as they do not contain any free electrons (or ions).

Image of oxygen showing a weak molecular bonds

Believe it or not, pure water (water without any impurities) does not conduct electricity well.

Covalent bonded molecules can not conduct electricity as there are no free electrons, Pure water with no impurities does not conduct electricity

However, as soon as impurities are added, the water will conduct electricity. Don’t try this at home! Pure water is very expensive and if you were to get into a bath containing it, you would add impurities to the water and enable it to conduct electricity.


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