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Differences Between Graphite and Diamond

What is a diamond?

The carbon allotrope known as diamond comprises sp3 hybridized carbon atoms and is exceedingly stable. The face-centered cubic crystal structure refers to how these carbon atoms are arranged in a diamond. Every single carbon atom in this compound is linked to four additional carbon atoms, and these additional carbon atoms are connected to four additional carbon atoms. The formation of a network structure gives the diamond its hardness and stability. Diamond has a colorless, glossy look. Covalent bonds are the only kinds of chemical bonds that connect carbon atoms. The sp3 polarized carbon atoms there are joined together by bonds. Diamonds are known for their high levels of light dispersion. Diamond is utilized in jewelry manufacturing and industrial applications because of their hardness and light dispersion. The earth's hardest mineral that has ever been discovered is diamond. A clear, highly hard substance, diamond has a greater melting point and doesn't conduct electricity.

Differences Between Graphite and Diamond

What is Graphite?

The carbon allotrope known as Graphite is composed of sp2 hybridized carbon atoms. It is an effective electrical conductor. A bond joins three carbon atoms with one carbon atom. Three additional atoms are connected to these carbon atoms, creating a network structure. The graphite crystal structure is planar. Graphite is a greyish-black color. The material is opaque. Graphite is soft. When touched, it feels smooth and slippery. The carbon atoms in Graphite have non-hybridized p orbitals since they are sp2 hybridized atoms. Every one of the carbon atoms consists of a single non-hybridized p orbital. As a result, an electron cloud can be created by mixing several free p orbitals. Parallel to Graphite's planar structure, the electron cloud is generated. This electron cloud causes the electrical conductivity of Graphite. There are numerous industrial uses for Graphite. The use of graphite powder as a dry lubricant is common. An electrode is made of a solid material called Graphite. For instance, the anode of lithium-ion batteries is made of graphite electrodes. A typical refractory substance is Graphite because it can sustain high temperatures without chemically altering. In pencils, Graphite is utilized.

Differences Between Graphite and Diamond

Applications of Diamond

  • The world's hardest material, diamond, has many functions and applications. It is utilized to create tools for drilling, grinding, and other operations.
  • Tungsten filaments, used in light bulbs, are made using diamonds.
  • It is a metal used to create jewelry.
  • Most surgeons use diamonds as their primary tool to remove cataracts from the eyes with extreme precision.

Applications of Graphite

  • It acts as a lubricant and comes in powder or dispersion material.
  • Graphite is a material frequently used in lead pencils.
  • Because it is a good conductor of electricity, it makes carbon electrodes for electrolytic cells.
  • It is used to create graphite crucibles due to its high melting point.
  • It can be found in several nuclear reactors and regulators.

The Difference between Diamond and Graphite

Diamond And Graphite are among the most intriguing minerals. While physically they are different, they are still chemically same since both are made of carbon (C). Polymorphic minerals retain the same chemical but have different crystallographic forms.

Their hardness is a significant physical distinction. Using a scale from 1 (softest) to 10(hardest), the Mohs Hardness Scale is used to compare the hardness of minerals (hardest). The hardness of Graphite, which ranges from 1 to 2, is quite low. Diamonds, which have a hardness of 10, are the strongest known naturally occurring substance, and the hardness of 10 is unique among all naturally existing materials. The physical characteristics of Graphite's crystal structure make it possible to use it as pencil lead and lubricant. The physical qualities of diamonds that we value and use for industrial and jewel purposes are also a result of their crystal structure.

Let's distinguish these two elements based on some of their inherited parameters.

  1. Structure: Different structures distinguish diamond from Graphite. Each carbon atom in the tetrahedral lattice structure of a diamond is bound to four other carbon atoms in three dimensions. Because of its structure, diamond is the hardest natural substance known to man. On the other hand, the carbon atoms in Graphite are stacked in layers in the form of hexagonal rings. Graphite is relatively soft and slippery because the layers are kept together by weak van der Waals forces.
  2. Bonding: There are various bonding types in Graphite and diamond. Each carbon atom in a diamond is covalently linked to four other carbon atoms, forming a rigid and incredibly strong lattice structure. Sp3 hybridization is a term used to describe this type of connection. Graphite has a flat, layered structure because each carbon atom is connected to three of its neighbors. Sp2 hybridization is a term used to describe this type of connection.
  3. Electrical conductivity: The delocalized electrons in the layers of Graphite make it a strong conductor of electricity. Electricity can easily flow since these electrons are unrestricted in their movement along the layers. Yet, a diamond is an electrical insulator because its closely bound lattice structure prevents electron movement.
  4. Thermal conductivity: Diamond is an excellent thermal conductor due to its strong lattice structure, allowing heat transfer. In contrast, Graphite has a relatively low thermal conductivity, as the layers are held together by weak van der Waals forces, which do not allow for efficient heat transfer.
  5. Optical properties: Due to its high refractive index, which allows light to bend and reflect off its surfaces, diamond is transparent to visible light. Diamonds are a popular gemstone for use in jewelry because of this characteristic. On the other hand, the delocalized electrons in the layers of Graphite make it opaque and absorb visible light.
  6. Density: Diamond is denser than Graphite because of its closely packed lattice structure. The densities of Graphite and diamond are 2.26 g/cm3 and 3.51 g/cm, respectively.
  7. Melting point: Diamond is challenging to melt because of its extremely high melting point of 3,823°C. Contrarily, Graphite has a comparatively low melting point of 3,700°C, making it simple to melt and employ in various industrial applications.

Finally, the two carbon compounds, diamond and Graphite have various physical and chemical characteristics. Graphite is a soft, opaque electrical conductor with low heat conductivity, while diamond is a hard, clear electrical insulator. These contrasts in characteristics make the diamond and Graphite valuable for different applications. Diamond is used in jewelry and cutting tools, while Graphite is used in lubricants, batteries, and other industrial purposes.


Carbon comes in two slightly distinct forms: diamonds and Graphite. Despite having different structures, they have the same components. A hard mineral is a diamond, whereas a soft mineral is Graphite. Graphite is present close to the earth's surface, but diamonds are discovered in the planet's interior.

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