Why is Graphite soft and Diamond hard if both are pure carbon?
alone forms the familiar substances graphite and diamond.
Both graphite and diamond are made only of carbon atoms.
Graphite is very soft and slippery. Diamond is the hardest
substance known to man. If both are made only of carbon
what gives them different properties?
answer lies in the way the carbon atoms form bonds with
about 3D molecules -- Our files on this page now
use Jsmol instead of Jmol. These files make
on tablets and phones and is also easier to use
on Macs. - Jsmol is best viewed with the Chrome
browser.For the same file in Jmol go to
Rotate the Graphite molecule
the left mouse button down over the image and move the mouse
to rotate the graphite molecule).
that graphite is layered.
there are strong covalent bonds between carbon atoms in
each layer, there are only weak forces between layers. This
allows layers of carbon to slide over each other in graphite.
On the other
hand, in diamond each carbon atom is the same distance to each
of its neighboring carbon atoms. In this rigid network atoms cannot
move. This explains why diamonds are so hard and have such a high
[Diamond structure shown using the Jsmol
the structure of diamond --
that each diamond atom is the same distance to each of its
neighboring carbon atoms. There is a rigid network of bonds
within the diamond crystal.
is the bond length for a diamond C-C bond? --
Double click twice on first atom, drag to second atom and double click again
1) What is the distance of the C-C bond in diamond?
Please enter your answer in the space provided:
2) What is the distance of the C-C bond in graphite?
3)What is distance between the graphite layers?