# Which solid phase (that is, which allotrope) of carbon is more stable, graphite or diamond? (You should consult some of the tables in the thermodynamics section of this text.). Both solid phases exist under normal conditions of pressure and temperature. Explain why this is so, given that one solid phase is more thermodynamically stable than the other. Do their unit cells provide any suggestion for their relative stabilities?

### Physical Chemistry

2nd Edition
Ball + 3 others
ISBN: 9781133958437

Chapter
Section

### Physical Chemistry

2nd Edition
Ball + 3 others
ISBN: 9781133958437
Chapter 21, Problem 21.48E
Textbook Problem
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## Which solid phase (that is, which allotrope) of carbon is more stable, graphite or diamond? (You should consult some of the tables in the thermodynamics section of this text.). Both solid phases exist under normal conditions of pressure and temperature. Explain why this is so, given that one solid phase is more thermodynamically stable than the other. Do their unit cells provide any suggestion for their relative stabilities?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation:

The more stable solid phase of carbon between graphite and diamond is to be identified. The explanation for the corresponding statement is to be stated. Whether any information regarding the relative stabilities can be obtained from the unit cell of graphite and diamond is to be stated.

Concept introduction:

A unit cell of the crystal is the three-dimensional arrangement of the atoms present in the crystal. The unit cell is the smallest and simplest unit of the crystal which on repetition forms an entire crystal. Unit cell can be a cubic unit cell or hexagonal unit cell. The classification of a unit cell depends on the lattice site occupied by the atoms.

### Explanation of Solution

From Appendix 2,

ΔfG(s,diamond)=2.90kJ/molΔfG(s,graphite)=0kJ/mol

The stability of material is inversely proportional to its Gibbs free energy of formation. The Gibbs free energy of formation of graphite is lower than the Gibbs free energy of formation of diamond

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