- Diamond and graphite are allotropes of carbon.
- Both substances contain only carbon atoms but due to the differences in bonding arrangements they are physically completely different.
- In diamond, each carbon atom bonds with four other carbons, forming a tetrahedron.
- All the covalent bonds are identical, very strong and there are no weak intermolecular forces.
- Diamond therefore:
- Does not conduct electricity.
- Has a very high melting point.
- Is extremely hard and dense (3.51 g/cm3).
Diagram showing the structure and bonding arrangement in diamond
- Diamond ́s hardness makes it very useful for purposes where extremely tough material is required.
- Diamond is used in jewellery and for coating blades in cutting tools.
- The cutting edges of discs used to cut bricks and concrete are tipped with diamonds.
- Heavy-duty drill bits and tooling equipment are also diamond tipped.
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Morgan’s passion for the Periodic Table begun on his 10th birthday when he received his first Chemistry set. After studying the subject at university he went on to become a fully fledged Chemistry teacher, and now works in an international school in Madrid! In his spare time he helps create our fantastic resources to help you ace your exams.