Introduction to Diamond and Graphite:
Diamond and Graphite, both are known as the allotropes of carbon. These minerals chemically consist of carbon atoms with different physical properties. These minerals, in general, are known to be as polymorphs, having the same type of chemistry, but of the various crystalline structures.
In these allotropes of carbon, the atoms consisting of carbon atoms in that of the Diamond and Graphite, are bound together by strong covalent bonds with different arrangements.
Precious stone and graphite have shift structures which represent their diverse properties, and both are pure carbon. However, the graphite’s particles join to the three atoms of carbon and get associated with the plates that are parallel to each other. The particles of Diamond enter the four atoms of carbon in a gem frame.
Let us study the structure and the uses of both Diamond and Graphite in General.
Structure of Diamond and Uses
All the carbon atoms of Diamond are said to possess strong chemical bonds with that of the four other carbon atoms, thus making a perfect tetrahedron structure and on throughout the crystal. The carbon atoms, here are sp3 hybridized, and the bond lengths of carbon-carbon atom are equal. Hence Diamond forms a three-dimensional network of strong covalent bonds.
Diamond has a very high melting point of about 3843 K and a high density of about 3.51 g/cm3. It is known to be a poor conductor of electricity since its valence electrons get involved in C-C sigma covalent bonds, and hence they are localized and are not free to conduct the electricity.
Uses and Applications:
- Diamond is known to be the hardest substances on the Earth. It is used in making of tools that are utilized for grinding, cutting, drilling, etc.
- Diamond is used in the manufacture of filaments made of tungstens used for light bulbs.
- It is used in the making of jewelry.
- Diamonds are used by most of the surgeons in the removal of the cataract from the eyes as a high precision instrument.
Structure of Graphite and Uses
All the carbon atoms in Graphite are said to have stable chemical bonds with that of the other three carbon atoms, thus making the sheets that look like chicken wire; the weak form of forces hold the sheet quickly. When you are composing with a pencil on the paper, it is these sheets that slide separately to desert the graphite pieces as a blemish on the Paper.
The carbon atoms in the Graphite structure are sp2 hybridized and are directed in the same plane thus forming hexagonal rings. The rings have many layers of particles. Graphite is said to exhibit low electrical conductivity with a low density of about 2.26 g/cm3.
Uses and Applications:
- Graphite powder is utilized as a lubricant in the form of dispersion material or powder.
- Graphite is widely used in lead pencils.
- It is used in the manufacture of electrodes of carbon employed in the electrolytic cells, as it is an excellent conductor of electricity.
- It is utilized in the making of graphite crucibles since it possesses high melting points.
- It is widely used in the nuclear reactors and moderators.