Account for the Different Physical Properties and Uses of Diamond, Graphite and the Fullerene You Have Chosen, in Terms of Bonding.

Topics: Carbon, Covalent bond, Graphite Pages: 3 (870 words) Published: January 13, 2009
Diamond is a giant covalent network structure, having each Carbon atom sharing electrons with four other Carbon atoms, therefore having four single covalent bonds formed. These Carbon covalent bonds are extremely strong and account for two of diamond’s most prominent physical properties among all elements, hardness and a high melting point.

Diamond has a high melting point due to the fact that diamond is a covalent lattice, hence, melting this covalent lattice involves breaking many strong covalent bonds. This melting process requires a large amount of energy and, as a result, melting diamond requires a high temperature, approximately around 35500C.

Having strong covalent bonds, diamond also has a high level of hardness due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to break the strong covalent bonds within the covalent lattice. In fact, diamond is the hardest natural substance on earth, and for this reason it is used industrially to polish drill, cut or wear away any material including other diamonds. The hardness of diamonds also contributes to its suitability as a gemstone. This is because, as it can only be scratched by other diamonds and maintain its polish extremely well at the same time, diamond becomes a suitable and favoured gem in rings worn everyday due to its resistance to scratching when worn daily.

Due to the high level of strength in the covalent bonds, diamond is insoluble in water and organic solvents. Diamond is insoluble in these solvents as it is not possible for there to be attractions between the solvent and diamond that could displace the attractions between the covalent bonds within diamond’s covalent network structure. Therefore it could be said that diamond is insoluble in water and organic solvents, as the strength of the covalent bonds can not be weakened to the point of that the diamond dissolves into these solvents and forms bonds with the solvent.

Since diamond is made up of covalent bonds where each Carbon atom shares...
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