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Homework Help: Diamond vs. Graphite

  1. May 24, 2008 #1
    Why is diamond a poor conductor of an electric current and graphite a good conductor?

    all i can come up with is that diamond is a good insulator and that the fundamental difference between graphite and diamond being that graphite molecules are flat groupings of carbon atoms while diamond molecules are tetrahedral (pyramid-shaped) groupings of carbon atoms.

    can someone tell me if this is anywhere close? and help me on a bit..
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2008 #2
    look carefully at the structure of both diamond and graphite. find out how many covalent bonds are there for each carbon atom in both diamond and graphite.

    what can you deduce?
  4. May 26, 2008 #3
    hint: delocalized pi bonds
  5. Feb 10, 2010 #4
    Graphite and diamond are both made from carbon, which has 4 electrons in it's outer shell. Diamond has four bonds, meaning there are no free electrons. Graphite has three bonds giving it a free electron which alows the current of electricity to flow. Hope this helps.
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