Diamond and Silica(Sand)
A diamond crystal or a grain of sand is just one giant molecule. Such molecules,because they are so rigid and strong,have very high melting points.
Large Covalent Molecules And TheirProperties
This type of structure is thermally verystable and they have
high melting andboiling points
They are usually
poor conductors of electricity
because the electrons are notusually free to move as they can in metallicstructures.3.
Also because of the strength of thebonding in all directions in the structure,they are often very
in solvents like water.4.
Silicon dioxide (silica, SiO
has a similar3D structure and properties, shown belowdiamond.5.
The hardness of diamond enables it tobe used as the 'leading edge' on cuttingtools
Diamond is an
Allotropes are different forms of thesame element in the same physical state
(dioxygen) and ozone O
(trioxygen) are two gaseous allotropes of the element oxygen.3.
Carbon also occurs in the form of graphite
. The carbon atoms form joinedhexagonal rings forming layers 1 atomthick.4.
There are three strong covalent bondsper carbon
(3 C-C bonds in a planararrangement from 3 of its 4 outerelectrons), BUT, the fourth outer electronis '
' or shared between thecarbon atoms to form the equivalent of a4th bond per carbon atom.5.
The layers are only held together byweak intermolecular forces
shown by thedotted lines NOT by strong covalent bonds.6.
Like diamond and silica (above) the largemolecules of the layer ensure graphite
hastypically very high melting pointbecause of the strong 2D bondingnetwork
(note: NOT 3D network).
Graphite will not dissolve in solvents
because of the strong bonding8.
BUT there are
two crucial differencescompared to diamond
Electrons, from the 'shared bond', canmove freely through each layer, sographite is a conductor like a metal
(diamond is an electrical insulator and apoor heat conductor). Graphite is used inelectrical contacts eg electrodes inelectrolysis.10.
The weak forces enable the layers to slipover each other
so where as diamond ishard material
graphite is a 'soft' crystal
, itfeels slippery.
Graphite is used as alubricant
These two different characteristicsdescribed above are put to a commonuse with the electrical contacts in electricmotors and dynamos. These contacts(called brushes) are made of graphitesprung onto the spinning brass contactsof the armature. The graphite brushesprovide good electrical contact and areself-lubricating as the carbon layers slideover each other.