The sheets of carbon become bonded by weaker intermolecular forces. It is because of these weak intermolecular forces that the layersof graphite can slide over eachother, making the overall substance a lot weaker than diamond.
Why is graphite so weak?
Graphite is soft because the bonding between its layers of carbon atoms is weak; thus, the layers detach easily from one another whereas in a diamond every carbon electron bonds with all the electrons from its adjacent carbon atom.
Is graphite more brittle than diamond?
On the molecular level, the difference between graphite and a diamond, one of the strongest and hardest materials on earth, is essentially one single carbon atom, and of course, the lattice that is formed from the resulting configuration. …
Why does graphite break easily?
There are weak forces between the layers, which is why they can easily slide over one another. This explains why graphite is so slippery. However, melting graphite is not easy. It takes considerable energy to break the strong covalent bonds and separate the carbon atoms.
Why Diamond is hard but graphite is weak?
Diamond is harder than graphite because each of its carbon atoms form four covalent bonds in a tetrahedral structure and also due to the presence of strong covalent bonds in it. … The carbon atoms in graphite appear to bond with weaker intermolecular forces, allowing the layers to move over one another.
What’s harder than diamond?
Moissanite, a naturally occurring silicon-carbide, is almost as hard as diamond. It is a rare mineral, discovered by the French chemist Henri Moissan in 1893 while examining rock samples from a meteor crater located in Canyon Diablo, Arizona. Hexagonal boron-nitride is 18% harder than diamond.
Why is diamond stronger than graphite GCSE?
This means that each carbon atom has a ‘spare’ electron (as carbon has four outer electrons) which is delocalised between layers of carbon atoms. These layers can slide over each other, so graphite is much softer than diamond.
Is graphite brittle or strong?
Graphite is naturally a very brittle compound and cannot be used as a structural material on its own due to its sheer planes (although it is often used to reinforce steel).
Why are diamonds clear but coal black?
Diamonds and coal are different colors because coal isn’t pure carbon. The stuff is loaded with impurities: Hydrogen, sulfur, mercury, and more. … This is where things get complicated, because the differences between diamonds and carbon black, or diamonds and graphite, happen at the molecular level.
Why is diamond so hard?
The outermost shell of each carbon atom has four electrons. In diamond, these electrons are shared with four other carbon atoms to form very strong chemical bonds resulting in an extremely rigid tetrahedral crystal. It is this simple, tightly-bonded arrangement that makes diamond one of the hardest substances on Earth.
Why do my pencil sharpeners break the lead?
The fact is, no matter how carefully you sharpen the pencils, the lead inside the colored pencils can still break. If they are dropped on hard surfaces or banged around, the lead inside the pencil may weaken and break when it is sharpened.
Why graphite is soft and slippery?
The delocalised electrons are free to move through the structure, so graphite can conduct electricity. … The layers in graphite can slide over each other because the forces between them are weak. This makes graphite slippery, so it is useful as a lubricant .
Why does graphite have its properties?
Properties and uses
Graphite has delocalised electrons, just like metals. These electrons are free to move between the layers in graphite, so graphite can conduct electricity. This makes graphite useful for electrodes in batteries and for electrolysis. The forces between the layers in graphite are weak.
Which is stronger diamond or graphite?
However, diamond is harder than graphite because of the carbon atoms in a diamond form 4 covalent bonds in the form of tetrahedral structure. While the carbon atoms in the graphite form 4 covalent bonds in the form of hexagonal structure. … This is the reason why diamond is harder than graphite.
What is the hardest substance on earth?
(PhysOrg.com) — Currently, diamond is regarded to be the hardest known material in the world. But by considering large compressive pressures under indenters, scientists have calculated that a material called wurtzite boron nitride (w-BN) has a greater indentation strength than diamond.
Why do diamonds and graphite look different?
Graphite also has a lower density (2.266 grams per cubic centimeter) than diamond. The planar structure of graphite allows electrons to move easily within the planes. This permits graphite to conduct electricity and heat as well as absorb light and, unlike diamond, appear black in color.