Diamonds - Answers



Carbon Revision

What does its position on the table tell us about the properties and structure of Carbon? It is a non-metal.

How many electrons does carbon have? 6 as this is carbon's atomic number

How many shells does carbon have? 2 as carbon is in the second period (row)

How many electrons on the outer shell? 4 as carbon is a group 4 (column IV) element

Covalent Bonding

What is covalent bonding? When atoms bond through the sharing of electrons on their outer-shells


Graphite is the material used as 'lead' in pencils. With this is mind, what properties does graphite have? Graphite is soft, slippery and brittle

Why does graphite have a high melting point? Covalent bonds within the Graphene sheets are very strong and therefore require a lot of energy to break apart

Why is graphite soft and easily broken? The bonding between graphene layers is very weak allowing them to slide over each other. For example, when you use a pencil, the sheets of carbon are rubbed off onto the paper.

Why can graphite conduct electricity? Between the graphene layers are free moving electrons which can conduct electricity through the structure


Why does diamond have a higher melting point (approx. 4027 ℃) than graphite (approx. 3600 ℃)? Each carbon atom within the structure of diamond has four covalent bonds that require breaking rather than the three each in graphite.

Why is diamond a harder material than graphite? Unlike graphite, diamond is not in sheets that provide weaknesses, it is a more rigid structure

Can diamond conduct electricity? Explain your answer. No. There are no spare/free electrons within the structure to carry an electrical charge