Giant Structures

Giant Structures

Giant Structures (continued) Diamond Diamond

Diamond is a form of pure carbon. Each carbon atom has four unpaired electrons in its outer energy level (shell) and it uses these to form four covalent bonds. Bonding In Diamond

In diamond, each carbon bonds strongly to four other carbon atoms. The diagram shows enough of the structure to see what is happening. Activity: Look at the diagram. Is each

carbon atom forming four bonds? In the diagram some carbon atoms only seem to be forming two bonds (or even one bond), but thats not really the case. The diagram is only showing a small bit of the whole structure.

The Covalent Bonds in Diamond The lines in the diagram each represent a covalent bond.

Diamond is a Giant Covalent Structure This is a giant covalent structure it continues on and on in three dimensions.

Diamond is not a molecule It is not a molecule, because the number of atoms joined up in a real diamond is completely variable, depending on the size of the crystal. Molecules always contain fixed numbers of atoms

joined by covalent bonds. Activity: Drawing the structure of Diamond Draw the structure of diamond using the stages shown below.

Properties of Diamond 1. Diamond is very hard, with very high melting and boiling points. This is because of the very strong carbon-carbon

covalent bonds which extend throughout the whole crystal in three dimensions. 2. Diamond does not conduct electricity. This is because all the electrons in the outer levels of

the carbon atoms are tightly held in covalent bonds between the atoms. None are free to move around. 3. Diamond does not dissolve in water or any other solvent.

This is again because of the powerful covalent bonds between the carbon atoms. If the diamond dissolved, these would have to be broken. Graphite

Graphite Graphite is also another form of carbon, but the atoms are arranged differently. Activity: Drawing the structure of Diamond

Draw the structure of graphite. Structure of Graphite Graphite has a layer structure rather like a pack of cards. In a pack of cards each card is strong, but the

individual cards are easily separated. The same is true in graphite. Properties of Graphite 1. Graphite is a soft material with a slimy feel.

Although the forces holding the atoms together in each layer are very strong, the attractions between the layers are much weaker. Layers can easily be flaked off.

Graphite (mixed with clay to make it harder) is used in pencils. When you write with a pencil you are leaving a trail of graphite layers behind on the paper. Pure graphite is so slippery that it is used as a dry

lubricant for example, to lubricate locks. 2. Graphite has High Melting and Boiling Points and is Insoluble in any Solvent. To melt or dissolve the graphite, you dont just have

to break the layers apart you have to break up the whole structure, including the covalent bonds. This needs very large amounts of energy because the bonds are so strong. 3. Graphite is less dense than diamond.

This is because the layers in graphite are relatively far apart. The distance between the graphite layers is more than twice the distance between atoms in each layer.

In a sense, a graphite crystal contains a lot of wasted space, which isnt there in a diamond crystal. 4. Graphite conducts electricity. Look at the diagram of the arrangement of the atoms

in each layer in the graphite. Question: How many atoms is each carbon atom joined to? Answer = 3 Each carbon atom uses three of its electrons to form

these simple covalent bonds. Question: How many electrons are therefore free? Answer = 1 The fourth electron in the outer layer of each atom is free to move around throughout the whole of the

layer. The movement of these electrons allows the graphite to conduct electricity.

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