Diamond is solid in its form and its atoms are present in a crystal structure known as diamond cubic. At normal pressure and room temperature, graphite, another strong solid with a particle of carbon in it is formed. Diamond is known to be the hardest metal. It has 99.95% of carbon in it. The rest 0.05% includes traces of a few atoms that are not a part of chemistry. This influences the crystal shape and colour of the element. The uses of diamonds are not confined to jewellery only but are myriad.
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Structure of Diamond
Diamond is an allotrope of carbon. The atoms of diamond form strong covalent bonding in a 3-D network. The strong carbon-carbon bonding makes it the hardest material. It has a tetrahedral structure. Each carbon atom of a diamond is sp3 hybridized to produce four sp3 hybrid orbitals. These hybrid orbitals are directed in space at the corner of the tetrahedron. The unit cell of a diamond is given below.
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Properties of Diamond
The physical and chemical properties of diamond are tabulated below:
What are Diamonds used for?
Diamond application is widely recognized across industries. Diamonds are not only famous for their beauty but also for their uses. From being used in gas stations and mines to being considered as a precious gem that we wear on ourselves, it is used everywhere.
Diamonds in Jewellery
Most people are familiar with the fact that diamonds serve as jewellery. These gems have a spectacular spark in them that serves as a popular centrepiece in many jewellery designs and they serve as an important source of income for the economy. Diamond is often the first choice as a jewellery gift item when it comes to engagements or weddings.
The crystalline, sparkling structure of the diamond allows its cutting into various smaller structures and then applying a design on it. It has a high level of optical dispersion that makes it beautiful as well as unique when placed with other metals such as platinum, silver, gold, titanium, tungsten, and more. According to reports, almost 30% of the diamonds mined from the earth’s interiors are used in the pure gem trade, and the rest 70% are used in other fields.
Diamonds in Industry
Other than applying in jewellery, diamonds are also a majorly used metal in industries. According to reports, it is the hardest metal found on earth and so it conducts heat very well. Both the synthetic parts and the diamonds themselves are used widely in industries. The lab-created ones have similar properties as the real gems but the possibility of obtaining them is quite less. Also, the natural gems do not appear similar to the real ones and only a few percent of them can be used by the industries. Some are present in the form of “bort” and small pieces of diamonds and their dust.
Diamonds are used in making vehicles as well. Every high-tech car has 1.5 carats of diamonds present in them. The drill bits and various other components are used in the production of cars and it serves as an integral part of the automotive industry.
Stone Polishing and Cutting
Since it is the hardest metal available, hence it can be used to cut the hard tress and also help polish them. It also serves as an important component in the making of rubies and sapphires.
Highway Construction and Repair
Highway construction companies consume large amounts of diamonds as their workers use equipment that is diamond coated to groove and cut the lanes and pavements.
Did You Know?
Diamonds are millions of years old and in some instances, their formation can even date back to more than four billion years! It is said that the older a piece of diamond is, the more expensive it is.
The word diamond has been derived from the Greek word “Adamas” which means indestructible and invincible.
The diamond scientific name is ‘Carbon’.
Diamond is one of the hardest materials in the world. This property is very useful for industrial purposes. The article covers all the necessary information related to diamonds. The properties, structure and application of diamond are explained which would be useful for the knowledge of students as well as for examinations.