Question
Mon February 27, 2012 By:
 

explain structure of graphite in terms of bonding and give one property based on this structure.

Expert Reply
Mon February 27, 2012
Structure of Graphite 
 
In graphite each carbon atom is covalently bonded to three carbon atoms to give trigonal geometry. Bond angle in graphite is 120oC. Each carbon atom in graphite is sp2 hybridized. Three out of four valence electrons of each carbon atom are used in bond formation with three other carbon atoms while the fourth electron is free to move in the structure of graphite.
 

  Basic trigonal units unite together to give basic hexagonal ring. In hexagonal ring C-C bond length is 1.42Ao.In graphite these rings form flat layers. These layers are arranged in parallel, one above the other. These layers are 3.35Ao apart and are held together by weak van derwaals forces only. These layers can slide over one another. Thus it is very soft.
  Fourth electron of each carbon atom forms delocalized p-bonds which spreads uniformly over all carbon atoms. Due to this reason graphite conducts electricity parallel to the of its plane.
 
 
 
Properties based on structure: A few are:
 
It is used in the preparation of electrodes as it conduct electricity.
It is soft and greasy.
   It is used as lubricant.

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