Account for the Different Physical Properties and Uses of Diamond, Graphite and the Fullerene You Have Chosen, in Terms of Bonding.
870 WordsJan 13, 20094 Pages
Diamond is a giant covalent network structure, having each Carbon atom sharing electrons with four other Carbon atoms, therefore having four single covalent bonds formed. These Carbon covalent bonds are extremely strong and account for two of diamond’s most prominent physical properties among all elements, hardness and a high melting point. Diamond has a high melting point due to the fact that diamond is a covalent lattice, hence, melting this covalent lattice involves breaking many strong covalent bonds. This melting process requires a large amount of energy and, as a result, melting diamond requires a high temperature, approximately around 35500C. Having strong covalent bonds, diamond also has a high level of hardness due to…show more content…
It are these properties which allow graphite to be used to draw with (using a pencil), as the friction against weak intermolecular forces on paper causes layers of graphite to rub off onto the paper. It is this layered structure and the weak bonding between the “sheets” that determines the soft slippery feel of graphite, thus, creating graphite’s self lubricating property. Being used a lubricant, graphite can be used at very high or low temperatures for many different works, such as: steelmaking, wire die extrusion lubricant, gear lubricant for mining machinery and to lubricate locks. While natural graphite can be used in zinc carbon batteries in electric motor brushes and other specific works.
From all of these uses, graphite also has the ability to conduct electricity, and we can the reason as to why when looking at the electron arrangement in graphite. As each Carbon atom bonds to three other Carbon atoms, there is a fourth electron remaining in the bonding level. These remaining electrons in each Carbon atom form into a “sea” of delocalised electrons, moving around the whole sheet of atoms in the one layer. It is the ability of these delocalised electrons to move freely through their own Carbon layer, hence, making graphite a good conductor of electricity. Being a good conductor of electricity graphite, can be used as electrodes to an arc lamp and to carry the electricity that heats electric arc furnaces.
Due to graphite’s layered structure,