the structures of two allotropes of carbon are represented above. Allotropy describes the condition in which a given element can take on different chemical and thermal properties. Carbon’s allotropes can be broken down into two groups:
Allotropes of amorphous carbon Crystalline allotropes of carbon
Carbon Allotropes: What Are They?
Carbon, found all around us, has atomic number 6 and is represented by the symbol C on the periodic table. Allotropy is a property shared by a few elements, and carbon is one of them. Crystalline and amorphous forms of carbon are both possible allotropes (Diamond, Graphite).
In this section, we will cover:
Allotropes of Carbon Graphite Diamond
Different Forms of Carbon Allotropes, Including Silica
Carbon is one of the few elements to have a wide variety of allotropic forms because of its ability to take on different oxidation states and coordination numbers. The ability of carbon to catenate is also important. It’s this process that results in carbon’s polymorphism into its many forms, or allotropes.
It’s been calculated that there are a total of… allotropes of carbon.
Diamond is a crystal with carbon atoms arranged in a tetrahedral lattice, making it both extremely hard and transparent. This carbon allotrope has a high thermal conductivity but a low electrical conductivity.
Also known as lonsdaleite or hexagonal diamond.
Graphene is the fundamental building block from which other allotropes like nanotubes, charcoal, and fullerenes are constructed.
Q-carbon: These carbon allotropes, which are harder and brighter than diamonds, have a ferromagnetic, tough, and brilliant crystal structure.
Graphite is a moderate electrical conductor and a soft, black, flaky solid. Graphene consists of layers of carbon atoms bonded together in a hexagonal lattice.
Carbon acetylene in a straight line (Carbyne)
C60 and other fullerenes; buckminsterfullerene; buckyballs.
Carbon nanotubes are a type of nanostructured allotrope of carbon with a cylindrical shape.
Now we’ll investigate the better-known forms of carbon called allotropes:
Similarly, it is an elemental form of carbon. Carbon atoms in this allotrope are arranged in a hexagonal lattice, so the material is two-dimensional rather than three. It’s a smooth, dark, and squishy substance. Graphite maintains this characteristic even though it cleaves easily between its layers.
Each carbon atom forms a single C-C covalent bond with two other carbon atoms in its layer. In this case, every carbon atom is a sp2 hybrid. There is a pi bond for the fourth connection. With their localization removed, -electrons are free to move around and serve as a conductor of electricity.
Graphite can be found in both and forms.
The layers are constructed in an ABAB formation, with the third layer sitting directly atop the second.
The layers of the form are structured in the format ABCABC.
Graphite’s layers are stacked on top of one another, making it a lubricant and giving the carbon allotrope its unique properties.
Also, its metallic sheen aids in the transmission of electricity. It is an excellent thermal and electrical conductor.
Graphite’s ability to act as a dry lubricant for high-temperature machines is one of its most valuable characteristics.
Crucibles can be made from graphite because of the material’s inertness to both weak acids and alkalis.
Graphite is more stable from a thermodynamic standpoint than diamond.
Graphite, a form of carbon, is distinguished by a structure similar to that of a honeycomb due to its unusual layered composition. Carbon atoms are arranged in planar hexagonal rings within each layer, with a bond length between atoms of 141.5 picometers.
Three of the four carbon atoms form sigma bonds, and the fourth forms a pi bond. Graphite’s layers are only kept together because of the strength of the Vander Waal forces between them.