Allotropes of Carbon

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  • Allotropes of Carbon
    • Diamond is very hard.
      • Diamond has a giant covalent structure, made up of carbon atoms that each form 4 covalent bonds.
      • Diamond has a high melting and boiling point because of the strong covalent bonds.
      • It doesn't conduct electricity because it has no free electrons or ions.
    • Graphite contains sheets of hexagons.
      • Each carbon atom forms three covalent bonds.
      • There are not any covalent bonds between the layers so they are free to move over each other. This makes graphite soft and slippery.
      • The covalent bonds need lots of energy to break so graphite has got a high melting and boiling point.
      • Graphite conducts electricity and thermal energy because only three out of carbons four outer electrons so each carbon atom has one electron that is delocalised.
    • Graphene is one layer of graphite.
      • Graphene is a sheet of carbon atoms joined together in hexagons. The sheet is just one atom thick, making it a 2 - dimensional compound.
      • The network of covalent bonds make it very strong and it is also incredibly light.
      • It contains delocalised electrons so can conduct electricity.
    • Fullerenes form spheres and tubes.
      • Fullerenes are molecules of carbon.
      • Fullerenes can be used to 'cage' other molecules - the fullerene structure forms around another atom or molecule. This could be used to deliver a drug into the body.
      • Fullerenes have a huge surface area, so they can help in making industrial catalysts.


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