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Diamond vs graphite by a conductivity?

  1. Sep 6, 2011 #1
    Diamond vs graphite by a conductivity???

    Hello. This is the last question on HW.

    Q) Diamond and graphite are both made of carbon atoms. Explain why diamond is elecrically insulationg while graphite is a good conductor in terms of type(s) of hybridization of atomic orbitals and bonds in each material. Draw relevant molecular orbital (MO) diagrams for two canbons forming bonds fro each material and schemetically show these MOs leading to energy bands. (Consider only p-orbitals that form pi bonding, anti-bonding, or non-bonding MOs ---Only graphite)

    I knew that no one electron is free to pass an electric current through the Diamond, since each atom's valence electron is taken up in covalent bonding. Other than that I have no clue... Is there MOs for a dimond or graphite? Are they consisted of only carbon, right? Please help me out.


  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2011 #2
    Re: Diamond vs graphite by a conductivity???

    In a nutshell, diamond is sp3 hybrid and graphite is sp2 hybrid bonded. p orbitals perpendicular to the plane overlap to form pi-bonds between the layers, effectively an unfilled conduction band
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