There is mineral graphite which becomes an allotrope of carbon. It was first discovered in 1789 by Abraham Gottlob Werner and named after the ancient Greek word γράφω (graphō), meaning “to draw/write.” Graphite has been used for centuries, most notably as pencil lead to writing with because it can be easily erased. Unlike diamond, graphite is not only useful leading arcs lamps but also at providing electrical conductivity-a semimetal quality that makes this mineral invaluable in many applications today from your computer’s battery charger to cell phone screens! graphite is the only non-metal that is a good conductor of electricity. The ability of graphite to conduct electricity makes graphite useful for many things including heat sinks, graphite electrodes in carbon arc lamps (or graphite electric lights), and pencils. During an archeological dig on Rapa Nui, graphite was discovered at Ahu Vai Uranga. For starters, graphite isn’t even a metal; it’s actually carbon. But not just any type of carbon – graphite is one of several different allotropes of carbon that have special properties due to their structure. Carbon atoms come together in sheets with thousands—sometimes millions—of layers attached to each other like legos, but instead of flat sheets they form graphite’s hexagon-shaped crystals. graphite may be called lead graphite in pencils, but graphite itself is not a metallic substance, and graphite leads are actually tiny pieces of graphite. Carbon atoms are so small that individual sheets can’t be seen even through an electron microscope – which means a sheet the size of graphite wouldn’t show up on your cell phone camera lens either! This makes graphites’ regular conductivity properties seem even more like magic than they already do!

Graphitic C60 molecules from amorphous carbon/graphite with 5 m diameter and 3 nm thickness Carbon can exist in several different forms; one of these forms is graphite. Graphites’ unique structure gives it both useful properties for humans and some interesting physical characteristics. Graphite is made up of graphite layers that are stacked on top of each other in a way that forms hexagonal sheets, which can then be broken down into individual graphite crystals. The stacking pattern of graphites sheets can be seen through strong magnification, which shows the graphitic structure as very small flat planes. These planes—and an individual graphite crystal—are held together by weak attractive forces between the layers. The graphite crystals are extremely strong for their size, making graphites far stronger than diamonds. graphite’s layered structure has an important role in determining graphite’s properties. Because graphites layers have a direction, energy can be stored more easily in graphite than it can in most materials. This directional nature means that graphites’ useful conductivity-providing semimetal qualities result as electrons are able to travel through graphite more easily due to their ability to move along the layers of graphite. Graphitization results from heating which allows carbon atoms to rearrange into a highly ordered crystal lattice structure of stacked graphene sheets (known as phyllon). Graphitization is also observed when graphite is cooled, although the graphitization process is typically diffusion-controlled. The graphitization direction follows the c-axis of graphene (for armchair graphitization), the graphitization path and curve are controlled by resistivity. When graphite undergoes graphitization, its volume shrinks to 0.74–0.77 that of graphite which results in some specific increase in pressure. These high pressures generated during graphitization trigger processes associated with graphitization such as crystal growth, movement of defects, grain boundaries and grain boundary sliding, etc., leading to the formation of nanotubes.

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