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So diamond has neither metallic bonding nor ionic bonding. But this is not a surprise, since we know already that carbon forms covalent bonds. We can recall that carbon atoms have a valence of 4 and have 4 valence electrons which they commonly share with other carbon atoms or with non-metal atoms to form covalent bonds. Since all of our observations suggest that the bonding electrons in diamond are localized, we can imagine that all of the bonding in diamond is covalent. That makes sense, based on our knowledge of the ways that carbon atoms bond with different elements.

Let’s pick one carbon atom to start with. What if that carbon atom is bonded to four other carbon atoms, satisfying the octet rule for covalent bonding? And what if each of those four carbon atoms is, in turn, bonded to three additional carbon atoms. And those twelve carbon atoms are, again in turn, bonded to three additional carbon atoms. We can build an entire “network” of carbon atoms this way, as is illustrated in [link] where the C atoms are shown with bonds connecting them.

Carbon atoms in the diamond network lattice

Looking closely at this, it is clear that each carbon atom has a complete octet, satisfying its valence of 4. Thinking about this more carefully, it is also clear that this network does not have to end. We could continue building this network by adding more and more carbon atoms, each bonded to four other carbon atoms, building a huge molecule large enough to hold. Or to wear on a ring!

Does the bonding model in [link] account for the properties of diamond? The electrons are all localized, so we wouldn’t expect diamond to conduct electricity. The atoms are very precisely arranged in the network and cannot be moved relative to one another without breaking some of the covalent bonds, so diamond is very hard and non-malleable. We call the bonding in diamond “network covalent”, since the bonding is all covalent and creates a network of carbon atoms.

There is an important unanswered question: why do the carbon atoms sit in the particular geometry as they do in [link] ? The answer is not obvious right now, and the question is the subject of the next concept study. For now, we’ll simply note that a carbon atom with four single bonds will arrange those bonds in the shape of a tetrahedron. When all of the carbon atoms are networked together with this geometry, we get the network in [link] .

A model for predicting the type of bonding: electronegativity

We have now seen three types of bonding in solids. In metallic bonding, the bonding valence electrons are delocalized in an “electron sea,” allowing current to flow and permitting distortions of the arrangements of the atoms. In ionic bonding, adjacent positive metal ions and negative non-metal ions are strongly attracted to each other in an array which places positive ions next to negative ions and vice versa. This creates a hard, brittle solid, not permitting rearrangement of the ions and not allowing electron flow in an electric current. In a solid covalent network like diamond, the bonding is the more familiar covalent sharing of an electron pair so that each non-metal atom in the network satisfies its valence in agreement with the octet rule. This makes a very hard solid which is neither brittle nor malleable, and this does not allow movement of electrons in a current.

Questions & Answers

I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
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Source:  OpenStax, Concept development studies in chemistry 2012. OpenStax CNX. Aug 16, 2012 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11444/1.4
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