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Why diamond is a hardest structure

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  1. Oct 16, 2014 #1
    Why diamond lattice structure is a hardest (?) one?

    If it is because each atom connected to 4 adjacent, then why simple cubic, where each atom connects to 6 adjacent is not the case?

    And why ZnS having the same geometrical structure is not as strong as, say, carbon, or silicon diamond?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2014 #2

    DrDu

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    Science Advisor

    Carbon has a valency of 4, so it prefers to form bonds with four neighbours in a tetrahedral environment.
    Zn and S have a valency of only two, though the bonding in ZnS is mostly ionic, which is not as strong as the covalent bonds in C.
     
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