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 so without any further delay let’s begin.

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 does graphite conduct electricity

Also Read: Why is Graphite Soft and Slippery?

Why Graphite is used for Pencils?

Pencils are made of graphite because it is an excellent conductor of electricity. (As told earlier in “why does graphite conduct electricity”). In other words, a graphite pencil will produce an electric current when you write with it, and that current will be passed to the paper. The paper will slightly warm up due to this current. Which will then cause the ink to be deposited on the paper.

Characteristics of Carbon

  • The atomic number six and letter C are both given to the chemical element carbon.
  • It is nonmetallic and tetravalent-making (four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds) With more than 270 isotopes.
  • Carbon has the highest isotopes.
  • After hydrogen helium and oxygen, carbon is the fourth most prevalent element in the universe by mass and the fifteenth most abundant element in the crust of the Earth.
  • 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 symbolized 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.

Thanks for reading our blog, If you have any doubts related to “why does graphite conduct electricity” or any other information you can ask in the comments.

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