Could You Explain The Structure Of Graphite And Its Properties?


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Graphite has a crystal structure. It has two dimensional layers of carbon atoms packed one above the other. Each carbon in graphite is sp2 hybridized. Different layers of graphite are help together in the crystal by weak van der Waal's forces of attraction; the following properties of graphite are as a result of its structure.
-The carbon- carbon bond length is between that of the C-C and C=C bonds. This suggests the presence of some pi character in the bonds due to delocalized electrons
-The large distance between the layers indicates weak binding between the layers. Hence, the layers can easily slip over one another when touched. Therefore, graphite is slippery to touch.
-As the delocalized electrons are free to move within the layers, graphite is a good conductor of electricity. The conductivity is high only in the direction parallel to the layers and is low perpendicular to the layer.
-Graphite is macromolecule solid; hence its melting point requires the breaking of strong covalent bonds between carbon atoms. It sublimes at a high temperature.
-Another important property of graphite is that because of the large distance between the graphite layers, its density is lower than that of diamond.

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