Why Does Graphite Conduct Electricity?

Why Does Graphite Conduct Electricity?

why does graphite conduct electricity


In this article, I will tell you "why does graphite conduct electricity". Also, some other important details that you should know about graphite.

Why Does Graphite Conduct Electricity?

The electrons in graphite are delocalized, meaning they can move freely throughout the material. This allows them to flow easily when an electric current is applied. 

Additionally, the carbon atoms in graphite are arranged in sheets that are only one atom thick. This allows electrons to move quickly between sheets making the material a good conductor of electricity.

Did you know, that graphite is a very good thermal conductor also, meaning that it can quickly dissipate heat. This makes it an ideal material for use in batteries and electrical wiring.

Why Graphite is Different from Diamond

There are a few key properties that make graphite different from diamond.

  • Graphite is a much softer material than diamond which means it can be scratched or marked much more easily.
  • Diamond is also a much harder material meaning, it is more resistant to scratching and wear.
  • Diamond is also an excellent conductor of heat while graphite is a poor conductor.
  • Finally, the atomic structure of graphite is made up of layers that can slide over one another while the atomic structure of diamond is composed of atoms that are tightly packed together.

Why Graphite is used for Pencils?

Graphite is used for pencils because it is a very good conductor of electricity. (As told earlier in "why does graphite conduct electricity"). This means that when you write with a graphite pencil the tip will create an electric current, that will be transmitted to the paper. This current will cause the paper to heat up slightly. Which will then cause the ink to be deposited on the paper.

Characteristics of Carbon

  • Carbon is a chemical element with the symbol C and atomic number 6.
  • It is nonmetallic and tetravalent-making (four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds) With more than 270 isotopes.
  • Carbon has the highest isotopes.
  • Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in Earth's crust and the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen helium and oxygen.
  • Carbon is the basis of all life on Earth forming molecular chains that are essential for DNA RNA proteins and cell membranes.

Nuclear Properties of Carbon

Carbon has two stable isotopes: carbon-12 (which makes up 98.93 percent of natural carbon) and carbon-13 (1.07 percent); there are 14 radioactive isotopes, with carbon-14 having the longest half-life of 5,730 40 years.

The atomic mass is presuperscripted to the element symbol and the atomic number is presubscripted in the notation for atom nuclei; hence, the isotope carbon-12 is denoted as 126C.

Carbon-13 is a particularly interesting stable nuclide because its nuclear spin causes a response in a device called a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, which is valuable for studying the molecular structures of covalently bound carbon compounds.

This isotope can also be employed as a label in compounds that will be studied using mass spectrometry, which is another technique for identifying atoms and molecules.

Only carbon-14 has a long enough half-life to be useful among the unstable nuclides.

It is generated by the interaction of cosmic-ray-produced neutrons with atmospheric nitrogen (N) in a process that may be expressed as follows (neutron is symbolised as 10n, the nitrogen atom as 147N, and a hydrogen nucleus, or proton, as 11H)

By reacting with ambient oxygen, the carbon-14 atoms from this process are transformed into carbon dioxide, which is combined and equally dispersed with the carbon dioxide containing stable carbon-12.

Through photosynthesis and respiration, living creatures consume atmospheric carbon dioxide, whether stable or radioactive carbon and so their systems contain the constant ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 that occurs in the atmosphere.

The equilibration process is stopped when an organism dies; no new carbon dioxide is introduced to the dead material.

The carbon-14 in the dead material decays according to its half-life of 5,730-years (40 years), but the carbon-12 remains unchanged.

The time passed after the creature died may be calculated by measuring the carbon-14 activity at a certain period. The carbon-14 activity in a cypress beam in the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Snefru, for example, was measured and the tomb was dated to around 2600 BCE.

Many additional archaeologically significant objects have been dated in the same way (see carbon-14 dating). If You want to read "why does graphite conduct electricity" in deep you can also learn about its nuclear properties.

FunFact: "why does graphite conduct electricity" is the most searched question on Google which is related to graphite.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this informative and amazing post here. I found it very interesting and enjoy reading this blog. Will wait for more posts.

    1. I am glad you liked it! We will be sharing more interesting content like this.

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