Diamond, Graphite, Fullerenes, Carbon Nano-tubes and Graphene

Diamond, Graphite, Fullerenes, Carbon Nano-tubes and Graphene


  • Formed entirely of carbon atoms each bonded to four other carbon atoms in a tetrahedral structure
  • The strong covalent bonds and the rigid structure make diamond extremely hard
  • Lacks free electrons so it does not conduct electricity
  • High melting and boiling points due to the strong covalent bonds which need a large amount of energy to be broken


  • Each carbon atom is bonded to three other carbon atoms, forming hexagonal layers
  • Layers are held together by weak forces allowing them to slide over each other, making graphite slippery
  • One electron from each carbon atom is delocalized, allowing graphite to conduct electricity and heat


  • Made up of carbon atoms arranged in hexagons and pentagons
  • They are hollow and can be used to ‘cage’ other molecules
  • Can form nanotubes which are conductive due to delocalized electrons

Carbon Nanotubes

  • Hexagonal arrangement of carbon atoms but in cylindrical structures
  • Strong covalent bonds make them extremely strong and lightweight
  • Conduct electricity and are used in electronics


  • A single layer of graphite - very thin but extremely strong
  • Excellent conductor of heat and electricity due to delocalized electrons
  • High elasticity despite its strength