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Homework Help: Surface reconstructions of lattices

  1. Dec 9, 2009 #1
    Why does gold have a surface reconstruction but graphite does not?

    The Au(111) crystal, when cut, reorganizes at the surface to minimize tensile stress and energy. Why doesn't graphite do this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2009 #2


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    What type of bonding is there in a sheet of graphite? What type is there in the gold [1,1,1] crystal? Is thermal energy (RT?) enough to overcome both or only one?
  4. Dec 9, 2009 #3
    Bonding in graphite would be sigma bonds, plus delocalized pi bonds... I'm not sure about gold (1,1,1). The electron configuration for Au is [Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s1 so the s orbitals rather than the d orbitals participate in bonding - right? - so they form sigma bonds only? Or do you use a different model for transition metal elements? I'm really not sure how to think about this...
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