chemistry

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why is graphite a good conductor of electricity and why does diamond not conduct electricity???

thanks 

Posted: 18-05-12 10:30 by bee King

graphite has layers which free electrons can move between, carrying an electrical charge. However all of the electrons in diamond are joinded in chemical bonding, and so they cannot move around to carry a charge.

Posted: 18-05-12 10:37 by Neon

thank you very much! :D 

Posted: 18-05-12 10:53 by bee King

Each carbon atom in a graphite compound are bonded to only 2 other carbon atoms meaning that there is a lone pair of electrons for each carbon. Also because these carbons in graphite form layers, between each layer there are Van der Waal forces and where the Van der Waal forces occur, there is a space between each layer and because there are many lone pair of electrons, this allows the electrons to be come delocalised and therefore can carry the current of the electricity as there are electrons present to do so.

This is why diamond cannot conduct electricity because all the carbons are covalently bonded to 3 other carbons therefore doesn't alllow any free electrons to flow throughout the compound meaning it does not conduct electricity.

Hope i helped !

Posted: 18-05-12 11:49 by Braniac

helped alot thank you :D 

Posted: 18-05-12 12:50 by bee King