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Chapter 1 – Solid State

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:


Matter exists in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms. Solids are known to exhibit rigidity as the molecules are in fixed positions and can only oscillate in mean positions. Contrary to the solids, fluids (liquid & gas) can flow because their molecules can move about freely as they are not tightly compacted. Here the focus is on Solid State Chemistry.

Before dwelling on the concept, you should understand why solids act differently from liquids. Due to the arrangement of atoms and molecules, the physical and chemical properties of solids vary. Depending on the type of atoms and molecules the chemical characteristic of every solid is different. These notes will help you revise for exams and succinctly explain Solid State Chemistry.

As we were discussing the peculiarity of solids, certain properties were being repeatedly mentioned. Below are the characteristic properties of solids:

  • The mass, volume, and shape of a solid matter are definite.
  • The intermolecular distances are short, meaning the distance between two molecules small.
  • The intermolecular forces are very strong.  This means the forces between the particles (atoms, molecules, and ions) are strong. Hence, they are strongly and closely arranged together.
  • The solids have little or almost no space between the constituent particles because they are rigid, closely compacted, and incompressible.
  • As mentioned above, the particles of solids can only oscillate about their mean positions.

The study of properties-functions, structures, and synthesis of solid materials is termed as Solid State Chemistry. It is also referred to as material chemistry. Solid State Chemistry is studied to understand the properties and characteristics of solids. The functions and properties are a consequence of the arrangement and alignment of constituents as well as the type of constituents. To learn more, you need to understand the types of solids and their properties.

There are definitively two types of Solid State. Solid states are differentiated based on the arrangement of constituting particles:

  1. Crystalline Solid State
  2. Amorphous Solid State

Below are all types and subtypes of solid states discussed briefly.

Crystalline Solid State

Crystalline solids are the substances wherein the constituent particles are arranged in a regular-ordered long-ranged arrangement. You can imagine constituent particles of Crystalline Solid State arranged in fixed order arranged in a geometric shape. Each shape is made up of a large number of smaller crystals.

Example: Quartz, Sodium chloride, Diamond, etc.

Characteristic properties of crystalline solids

  • Crystalline solids are anisotropic in nature, meaning, a few physical properties such as electrical resistance or refractive index exhibit different values when measured from different directions.
  • Crystalline solids have sharp melting points (high heat of fusion).
  • Crystalline solids consist of smaller crystals arranged repetitively and regularly to provide a definite geometric shape.
  • Since the constituents of crystalline solids are arranged in a uniform pattern, if the solid is cleaved (cut), the resulting parts are smooth and have a definite plane.
  • Crystalline solids are true solids.

Types of crystalline solids:

o   Metallic solids

o   Ionic solids

o   Molecular solids

o   Covalent solids

Metallic solids

The constituents are metallic elements.

  • These solids have metal ions in the pool of electrons. In this type of arrangement the electrons are delocalized (mobile) and they are evenly present in the entire crystal.
  • The electric and thermal conductivity is high as a consequence of delocalized electrons moving freely.  
  • These solids are malleable and ductile, a characteristic feature of metals.
  • The conductibility of metallic solids is high in both solid and molten states.
  • Metallic solids have a high melting point in comparison to ionic solids.

Examples of metallic solids are Iron (Fe), Nickel (Ni), Gold (Au), etc.

Ionic solids

The constituents are ions. They are arranged in a regular pattern of cations and anions bound by coulombic forces. 

  • They are insulators in the solid-state but conductors in liquid or molten state due to free electric conductance.
  • Ionic Solids have high melting points.
  • They are brittle and hard in nature.

Example: NaCl, MgO, etc.

Molecular solids

The constituent particles in molecular solids are molecules. These are further divided into 3 sub-types.

Non-Polar Molecular Solids

The constituent particles of this type of solid have a nonpolar covalent bond. The forces holding these particles are London forces or weak dispersion forces.

  • Non-conductors or insulators in all forms.
  • Very low melting point due to weak forces

Example: F2, H2, etc.

Polar Molecular Solids

The constituent particles share polar covalent bonds, due to which they share strong dipole-dipole interactions

  • They are gaseous or liquid in nature
  • They are insulators and don’t conduct electricity

Example: HCl, NH3, etc.

Hydrogen-Bonded Molecular solids

These are the solids that consist of a bond between Hydrogen, Oxygen, Fluoride, and Nitrogen atoms called hydrogen bonds. Due to the hydrogen bonds, molecules are strongly held.

  • These are hard solids
  • They are insulators, non-conductors.
  • They have relatively lower melting points
  • At room temperature, they are volatile liquids or soft solids.

Example: H20, H2F, etc.

Covalent Solids

They are also called network solids. The constituent particles have covalent bonds between them across the entire solid structure.

  • They can be hard or soft depending on the structure lattice.
  • They can be conducting or insulating depending on the arrangements of molecules.

Example: SiO2, CH4, etc.

Amorphous Solid State

Amorphous solids (in Greek amorphous- no form) consist of particles arranged in an irregular shape. The definite arrangements of particles are for short-range order. Meaning the periodic arrangement and regular order is only for short distances.

  • Their arrangements at times are disordered and scattered.
  • Amorphous solids are pseudo or supercooled solids. Amorphous solids show irregular cleavage.
  • Their melting points are not sharp
  • They are isotropic just like liquids. The values of physical properties are always the same from every direction due to short-range order.  

Example: Quartz glass, rubber, plastics, etc.

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High School Physics

  • Alternating Current
  • Atoms
  • Communication Systems
  • Current Electricity
  • Dual nature of Radiation and Matter
  • Electric Charges and Fields
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Electron Beams and Radioactivity
  • Electrons and Photons
  • Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
  • Fluid Pressure
  • Force and Acceleration
  • Force And Laws Of Motion
  • Gravitation
  • Internal Energy
  • Kinetic Theory
  • Law of motion
  • Light – Reflection And Refraction
  • Magnetic Effects Of Electric Current
  • Magnetism and Matter
  • Management Of Natural Resources
  • Mechanical properties of Fluids
  • Mechanical properties of Solids
  • Motion
  • Motion in a plane
  • Motion in a straight line
  • Moving Charges and Magnetism
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Nuclei
  • Oscillations
  • Our Environment
  • Paths of Heat
  • Physical world
  • Ray optics and optical instruments
  • Semiconductor Devices
  • Semiconductor Electronics: Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits
  • Simple Machines
  • Sound
  • Sources Of Energy
  • Specific and Latent Heats
  • Spherical Mirrors
  • Static Electricity
  • Systems of Particles and Rotational motion
  • Thermal properties of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Units and Measurement
  • Vectors, Scalar Quantities and Elementary Calculus
  • Wave Optics
  • Waves
  • Work, Power and Energy

High School Chemistry

  • Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers
  • Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
  • Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Alkyl and Aryl Halides
  • Amines
  • Analytical Chemistry 
  • Atomic Structure
  • Atoms And Molecules
  • Basic concepts of Chemistry
  • Biomolecules
  • Carbon And Its Compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and Acid Derivatives
  • Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structures
  • Chemical Energetics
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Chemical Reactions And Equations
  • Chemical Reactions and Their Mechanisms
  • Chemistry in Everyday Life
  • Chemistry of p-Block elements
  • Chemistry of Transition and Inner Transition
  • Classification of Elements
  • Coordination Compounds
  • Cyanide, Isocyanide, Nitro compounds and Amines
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrolysis
  • Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Equilibrium
  • Ethers and Carbonyl compounds
  • Haloalkanes and Haloarenes
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrogen
  • Ideal solutions
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Ionic equilibria
  • Matter
  • Matter Around Us
  • Matter In Our Surroundings
  • Metallurgy
  • Metals And Non-Metals
  • Mole Concept and Stoichiometry
  • Natural Resources
  • Organic Chemistry – Basic Principles
  • Periodic Classification of Elements
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Physical and Chemical Properties of Water
  • Polymers
  • Preparation, Properties and Uses of Compounds
  • Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements
  • Redox Reactions
  • Relative Molecular Mass and Mole
  • States of Matter
  • Structure Of The Atom
  • Study of Compounds
  • Study of Gas Laws
  • Study of Representative Elements
  • Surface Chemistry
  • The d-block and f-block elements
  • The Gaseous State
  • The p-Block Elements
  • The Periodic Table
  • The s-Block Elements
  • The Solid State
  • Thermodynamics

High School Biology

  • Absorption and Movement of Water in Plants
  • Adolescent Issues
  • Anatomy of Flowering Plants
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Bacteria and Fungi-Friends and Foe
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Biofertilizers
  • Biological Classification
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomolecules
  • Biotechnology and its Applications
  • Biotic Community
  • Body Fluids and Circulation
  • Breathing and Exchange of Gases
  • Cell – Unit of Life
  • Cell Cycle and Cell Division
  • Cell Division and Structure of Chromosomes
  • Cell Reproduction
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Chemical Coordination and Integration
  • Circulation
  • Control And Coordination
  • Crop Improvement
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Diversity In Living Organisms
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Issues
  • Excretory Products and their Elimination
  • Flowering Plants
  • Genes and Chromosomes
  • Health and Diseases
  • Health and Its Significance
  • Heredity And Evolution
  • Heredity and Variation
  • How Do Organisms Reproduce?
  • Human Diseases
  • Human Eye And Colourful World
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Human Population
  • Human Reproduction
  • Hygiene
  • Improvement In Food Resources
  • Integumentary System- Skin
  • Kingdom Fungi
  • Kingdom Monera
  • Kingdom Protista
  • Life Processes
  • Locomotion and Movement
  • Microbes in Human Welfare
  • Mineral Nutrition
  • Molecular Basis of Inheritance
  • Morphology of Flowering Plants
  • Neural Control And Coordination
  • Nutrition in Human Beings
  • Organism and Population
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis in Higher Plants
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Plant Kingdom
  • Pollination and Fertilization
  • Pollution; Sources and its effects
  • Principles of Inheritance and Variation
  • Reproduction and Development in Angiosperms
  • Reproduction in Organisms
  • Reproductive Health
  • Respiration in Human Beings
  • Respiration in Plants
  • Respiratory System
  • Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants
  • Strategies for Enhancement in Food Production
  • Structural Organisation in Animals
  • Structural Organisation of the Cell
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Fundamental Unit Of Life
  • The Living World
  • The Nervous System and Sense Organs
  • Tissues
  • Transpiration
  • Transport in Plants

High School Math

  • Algebra – Arithmatic Progressions
  • Algebra – Complex Numbers and Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra – Linear Inequalities
  • Algebra – Pair of Linear Equations in Two Variables
  • Algebra – Polynomials
  • Algebra – Principle of Mathematical Induction
  • Algebra – Quadratic Equations
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Calculus – Applications of Derivatives
  • Calculus – Applications of the Integrals
  • Calculus – Continuity and Differentiability
  • Calculus – Differential Equations
  • Calculus – Integrals
  • Geometry – Area
  • Geometry – Circles
  • Geometry – Conic Sections
  • Geometry – Constructions
  • Geometry – Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry
  • Geometry – Three-dimensional Geometry
  • Geometry – Lines and Angles
  • Geometry – Quadrilaterals
  • Geometry – Straight Lines
  • Geometry – Triangles
  • Linear Programming
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Mensuration – Areas
  • Mensuration – Surface Areas and Volumes
  • Number Systems
  • Number Systems – Real Numbers
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Probability
  • Sequence and Series
  • Sets and Functions
  • Statistics 
  • Trignometry – Height and Distance
  • Trignometry – Identities
  • Trignometry – Introduction

Middle School Science

  • Acids, Bases And Salts
  • Air and Its Constituents
  • Basic Biology
  • Body Movements
  • Carbon and Its Compounds
  • Cell – Structure And Functions
  • Changes Around Us
  • Chemical Effects Of Electric Current
  • Chemistry in Your Life
  • Coal And Petroleum
  • Combustion And Flame
  • Components Of Food
  • Conservation Of Plants And Animals
  • Crop Production And Management
  • Electric Current And Its Effects
  • Electricity And Circuits
  • Elements and Compounds
  • Fibre To Fabric
  • Food production and management
  • Force And Pressure
  • Forests: Our Lifeline
  • Friction
  • Fun With Magnets
  • Garbage In, Garbage Out
  • Getting To Know Plants
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen
  • Life Processes: Nutrition in Animals and Plants
  • Light, Shadows And Reflections
  • Materials: Metals And Non-Metals
  • Matter and Its States
  • Metals and Non-metals
  • Micro Organisms: Friend And Foe
  • Motion And Measurement Of Distances
  • Motion And Time
  • Nutrition In Animals
  • Nutrition In Plants
  • Organization in Living Things
  • Our Environment
  • Physical And Chemical Changes
  • Pollution and conservation
  • Pollution Of Air And Water
  • Reaching The Age Of Adolescence
  • Reproduction In Animals
  • Reproduction In Plants
  • Respiration In Organisms
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Separation Of Substances
  • Simple Machines
  • Soil
  • Some Natural Phenomena
  • Sorting Materials Into Groups
  • Sound
  • Stars And The Solar System
  • Structure of Atom
  • Synthetic Fibers And Plastics
  • The Living Organisms And Their Surroundings
  • Transfer of Heat
  • Transformation of Substances
  • Transportation In Animals And Plants
  • Universe
  • Waste-water Story
  • Water: A Precious Resource
  • Weather, Climate And Adaptations Of Animals To Climate
  • Winds, Storms And Cyclones

Middle School Math

  • Addition
  • Area and Its Boundary
  • Boxes and Sketches
  • Data Handling
  • Fun With Numbers
  • Heavy and Light
  • How Many
  • Long And Short
  • Mapping
  • Measurement
  • Money
  • Multiplication and Factors
  • Multiply and Divide
  • Numbers
  • Parts and Wholes
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Patterns
  • Play With Patterns
  • Rupees And Paise
  • Shapes And Angles
  • Shapes And Designs
  • Shapes and Space
  • Similarity
  • Smart Charts
  • Squares
  • Subtraction
  • Tables And Shares
  • Tenths and Hundredths
  • Time
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