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Hybridization of Graphite

Last updated date: 17th May 2024
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How do you calculate the hybridization of graphite when it is an allotrope of atoms? If we look at the hybridization of graphite formulas, then we can only find the carbon atoms. Graphite is also classified as an organic compound. Given all the factors, we will discuss the hybridization of graphite or graphite hybridization, ‘What is Hybridization’, ‘What is Hybridization of Graphite’, ‘Hybridization of Diamond’, ‘Graphite Bond Angles’ and ‘Molecular Geometry’, etc.


Name of the Molecule


Molecular Formula


Type of Hybridization


Bong angle



Trigonal Planar


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What is Hybridization?

Hybridization occurs when atomic orbitals are mixed to form new atomic orbitals. The new atomic orbitals hold a similar number of electrons as the previous ones. The energy and the features of new hybridized orbitals are an 'average' of the original unhybridized orbitals. The idea of hybridization was introduced because it was a good reason for the fact that all C-H bonds in molecules like methane are similar.


What is Hybridization of Graphite?

The type of hybridization of graphite is sp². The general electronic configuration of carbon is 1s², 2s², and 2p², where four valence electrons are laid out in the s and p orbitals. During the process of Hybridization, the 's' orbitals combine with the 'p' orbitals to form the type of hybridization, i.e., sp². In graphite, each carbon atom will form a covalent bond with the other three carbon atoms. The hybridized atoms are arranged hexagonally in various layers. Hence, the graphite has different properties because they have layers of weak forces between them.


Hybridization of Carbon in Graphite

The type of hybridization of carbon in graphite is sp².


Moreover, each carbon atom includes one non-bonded outer electron which becomes delocalized.


Graphite Formula in Chemistry

The graphite formula in Chemistry is C. It is the chemical formula of Graphite that represents the ratio or positions of elements in the graphical structure.


Bond Angle of Graphite

Graphite, also known as black lead or plumbago, is an allotrope of a particular crystalline form of carbon. The array of carbon atoms in graphite is significantly distinct from that in the diamond. In Graphite, each carbon atom is covalently linked to another atom. All the bond angles of graphite are 120⁰ which is expected only if three bonding pairs of electrons are surrounded by each other.


Hybridization of Diamond

The electronic configuration of carbon is 1s², 2s², and 2p², i.e., with four valence electrons laid out in ‘s’ and ‘p’ orbitals. Keeping in view to create covalent bonds in diamond, the ‘s’ orbital combines with three other ‘p’ orbitals to form sp³. Hence, the four valence electrons are uniformly distributed among the sp³ orbitals where each orbital points to one of the four corners of the tetrahedron. 


The tetrahedral structure of diamond along with the highest measured charge density gives stability and strength to bond. Hence, all the bonds in a diamond are of similar length (1.54⁰A) and similar bond angles (109.47⁰).


Important Points to Remember

  • The ‘s’ orbital combines with the ‘p’ orbital to form sp² hybrid orbital in the Hybridization.

  • Each carbon atom is combined with another three atoms by the covalent bond.

  • The carbon atoms form layers with a hexagonal order of atoms.


Graphite Bond Angles and Molecular Geometry

The molecular geometry of graphite is a trigonal planar with a bond angle of 120⁰. The three bonds linked with each carbon atom in graphite inclined to move far away to reduce repulsion between the electron pair that falls at the vertices of a triangle.


Graphite is made up of layers of carbon atoms organized in hexagonal rings with six members. The edges of these rings are connected to one another. An infinite succession of fused benzene rings can be used to model layers of fused rings (without the hydrogen atoms). In these ring arrays, the carbon atoms are sp2-hybridized. Each carbon atom is connected to three other species in the sp2 molecular orbital model, three other carbon atoms in the case of graphite. The binding angle between adjacent carbon atoms is 120 degrees in this bonding mode. Individual graphene layers are made up of these "ring arrays," which are stacked in huge sheets of carbon atoms. In a layer plane, the carbon-carbon bond length is 1.418. Graphene layers are piled one on top of the other in the hexagonal 4-axis system in which graphite crystallizes, parallel to the "C" crystallographic axis.

The graphite crystal's carbon atoms are in the sp2-hybridized form.

Two bonding components are supported by carbon atoms: a sigma () component and a pi () component.


When atomic orbitals combine to generate a new atomic orbital, this is known as hybridization. The new orbital can accommodate the same number of electrons as the old ones. The new, hybridized orbital characteristics and energy are a 'average' of the original unhybridized orbitals.

What Does Graphite Hybridization Entail?

Hybridization in graphite is of the sp2 kind. Carbon's electrical configuration is 1s2, 2s2, 2p2, with four valence electrons distributed throughout the s and p orbitals. The s orbital joins with the p orbitals during hybridization to form sp2 hybridization. In graphite, each carbon atom forms covalent bonds with three other carbon atoms. The hybridized carbon atoms are stacked in hexagonal layers in various levels. The layers, on the other hand, have weak forces between them, giving graphite distinct characteristics.

Chemistry Formula for Graphite

In chemistry, the graphite formula is C. The ratio or placements of elements in the graphical structure are represented by the chemical formula for graphite.

Important Things to keep in Mind

The s orbital mixes with the p orbitals to generate sp2 hybrid orbitals when hybridization occurs.

Covalent bonds connect each carbon atom to three other carbon atoms.

Layers of carbon atoms with a hexagonal arrangement of atoms form.

Bond Angles And Molecular Geometry of Graphite

Graphite has a trigonal planar molecular geometry with a bond angle of 120 degrees. In graphite, the three bonds associated with each carbon atom tend to shift widely apart in order to reduce electron pair repulsion. They are situated at the three points of a triangle.

Name of the Molecule


Molecular Formula


Hybridization Type


Bond Angle



Trigonal Planar

FAQs on Hybridization of Graphite

1. What is SP2 Hybridization, and how does it work?

One s and two p atomic orbitals are mixed in the sp2 hybridization, which entails the promotion of one electron from the s orbital to one of the 2p atomic orbitals. When these atomic orbitals are combined, three new hybrid orbitals with the same energy level are created.

2. How do you discover Graphite's Hybridization?

Hybridization in graphite is of the sp2 kind. Carbon's electrical configuration is 1s2, 2s2, 2p2, with four valence electrons distributed throughout the s and p orbitals. The s orbital joins with the p orbitals during hybridization to form sp2 hybridization. To get further information about hybridization students can see vedantu website and app which provide study material for .The dedicated staff of vedantu has created study material which provides clarity of each and every topic of every subject.

3. What is Carbon Hybridization, and how does it work?

Carbon Hybridization- A carbon atom is sp2 hybridized when it is bonded to three atoms (two single bonds and one double bond), forming a flat trigonal or triangular arrangement with 120° angles between bonds.

4. What is Carbon atom Hybridisation in Diamond and Graphite? How many kilograms of carbon having atomic mass of Carbon 12 is contained in 0.1 mole of Buckminsterfullerene?

Carbon atom hybridization in diamond is sp3, while it is sp2 in graphite. Buckminsterfullerene has the chemical formula C60. C60 is made up of 60 moles of carbon. A mole of C60 containing 0.1 mole of C will contain 6.0 moles of C.

5. Explain the Structure of Graphite and Diamond?

The structures of Graphite and diamond are explained as follows.

Structure of Diamond

All the carbon atoms of a diamond are considered to have a strong bond with that of another four carbon atoms, therefore forming a perfect tetrahedron structure all over the crystal. The carbon atoms in diamond are Sp³ hybridized and the bond length of carbon atoms are equivalent. Therefore, the diamond forms a three-dimensional grid of storing covalent bonds.

Diamond has a high melting point of 3843 K and a high density of 3.84 g/cm³. It is a poor conductor of electricity as its valence electrons get included in C-C sigma covalent bonds. Hence, they are confined and are not free to conduct electricity.

Structure of Graphite 

All the carbon atoms in Graphite are considered to have strong chemical bonds with that of the other three carbon atoms. Hence, the sheet looks like wire, the weak form of forces hold the sheet steadily. 

When you are creating this structure with a pencil on the paper, it is these sheets that move separately.

The carbon atoms in the Graphite structure are sp² hybridized and are directed in the same plane, therefore forming a hexagonal ring. The rings have multiple layers of particles. Graphite is said to have low electrical conductivity with a low density of 2.26 g/cm³.