Diamond vs. Graphite – What’s the Difference?

Several people have wondered whether diamond or Graphite is the more complex material. You are not alone in your curiosity. Even though both materials are composed of carbon, their atomic structures are vastly different. The carbon atoms in diamonds are strongly bonded to four of their neighbors, whereas the carbon atoms in graphite link together to form sheets. This distinction between the two materials contributes to the explanation of their disparate physical properties. So, what is the superior material? Continue reading to find out.

Scientists have come up with various methods for causing the transition between these two materials. Scientists have successfully converted Graphite into diamond in most cases by subjecting it to temperatures greater than 1700K and applying pressure greater than 12 GigaPascals. Diamond can be used for industrial purposes because of this significant difference, which will make it possible in the future to use diamonds for such purposes. In addition, the following are some crucial facts about Graphite and diamond

Carbon is a critical component of both materials, but diamond is the more well-known of the two. Its atomic structure is one-of-a-kind, with each carbon atom attached to four neighbors at a distance of 1.544 x 10-10 meters, resulting in a unique atomic structure. Diamond’s unique properties, such as its high hardness, tensile strength, and extreme durability, result from these characteristics. Despite having a lower density than Graphite, diamond is also significantly more complex than Graphite.


Diamond is a very stable allotrope of carbon made up of carbon atoms that have been hybridized with sp3 electrons. The face-centered cubic crystal structure of a diamond refers to the arrangement of carbon atoms in the diamond’s crystal structure. This structure contains four carbon atoms, each of which is bonded to four other carbon atoms, each of which is bonded to four other carbon atoms. In the same way, a network structure is formed, which makes the diamond a rigid and stable substance to work with.

Diamonds have a colorless and gleaming appearance to them. Covalent bonds are the only chemical bonds and can form between carbon atoms. The sp3 hybridized carbon atoms are bonded to one another in this location. The high dispersion of light in diamond is one of its distinguishing characteristics. Diamond is a transparent substance that can be seen through. Diamond is used in industrial applications and jewelry production because of its hardness and dispersion of light properties. Diamond is the most challenging mineral substance ever discovered on the planet. Diamond is a transparent and formidable substance. It has a higher melting point than steel and does not conduct electricity.


Graphite is an allotrope of carbon composed of carbon atoms that have been hybridized with sp2 electrons. It is an excellent electrical conductor due to its high conductivity. One carbon atom is bonded to three other carbon atoms in a tri carbon structure. These carbon atoms are also bonded to three other carbon atoms, resulting in forming a network structure between them. Graphite has a planar crystal structure, which means it has no edges. Graphite is a greyish black color with a bluish tinge. It is a substance that is difficult to see through. Graphite is not a complex material. When you touch it, it feels soft and slippery.

Because the carbon atoms in Graphite are sp2 hybridized atoms, they contain non-hybridized p orbitals, indicating that they are not hybridized. Every carbon atom comprises one non-hybridized p orbital per carbon atom, which makes up the entire carbon atom. Therefore, as shown in the diagram, these free p orbitals can combine to form an electron cloud. The electron cloud is formed in a parallel manner to time.

Diamond vs. Graphite

Diamond has a crystalline lattice, which means the carbon atoms are arranged in a three-dimensional symmetry within the crystal. On the other hand, Graphite has a layered structure, with six carbon atom rings arranged in a spaced horizontal sheet. Furthermore, diamond is a complex substance, whereas Graphite is a soft substance.

In nature, diamond is a solid crystalline form of the element carbon. The diamond structure has four carbon atoms covalently bonded, making it quite large. Separating atoms from one another requires a lot of energy due to covalent bonding. As a result, diamond is widely regarded as one of nature’s most complex materials.

Meanwhile, Graphite is a pure carbon allotrope with a layer structure, and it is most commonly found as a grey crystalline mineral in rocks. In Graphite, a sigma bond is formed between each carbon atom, and Graphite is soft and easy to break because it is bonded.

Graphite has a density that is significantly lower than that of a diamond. It is also more difficult to break apart and is insoluble in organic solvents, among other characteristics. Covalent bonds hold the atoms of this compound together. Graphite is less dense and softer than diamond, making it a better material for jewelry. However, due to the chemical structure of Graphite, there are significant differences in its appearance and toughness between different grades. The key is to understand what makes Graphite harder than diamond and which one is more valuable due to this understanding.

Parameters of Comparison Diamond  Graphite
Definition In nature, a diamond is a solid, colorless, and clear crystalline form of carbon. Graphite is an allotrope of pure carbon that is mostly found in between rocks. It is considered minerals in nature.
Structure The structure of a diamond is a crystalline lattice. It is a three-dimensional crystal in which the carbon atoms are arranged in symmetry. The structure of graphite is layered, where carbon atoms are bonded to each other by sigma bonds.
Hybridization There is a total of four carbon atoms in a diamond that are sp3 hybridized and all are bonded together via sigma bonds. Here, in graphite, each atom is bonded by sp2 hybridization and a sigma bond plays the main role by binding the atoms together. While the unpaired atom forms a pi bond.
Geometrical structure Due to the four bonded carbon electrons, the diamond has a tetrahedral structure. Due to three bonded carbon electrons, the graphite has a planar geometry structure.
Uses Used as a material in jewelry making, and drilling. Used as dry cells, electric arc, lubricant, and pencil leads.

What Makes Diamond so Much Harder than Graphite?

We already know that carbon is present in both diamond and Graphite. But the diamond is more complex than Graphite because the carbon atoms in a diamond form four covalent bonds, creating a tetrahedral structure, making it harder than Graphite. While the carbon atoms in graphite form four covalent bonds in the form of a hexagonal structure, the carbon atoms in Graphite form no covalent bonds.

Diamond is one of the most complex materials known to man. It is also transparent to light and does not conduct electricity at all, making it ideal for use in lasers. Graphite is a soft, grey substance that has a reasonable ability to conduct electricity. The properties of two substances made up of precisely the same atoms are so dissimilar! It’s amazing!

What is it About Graphite that Makes it so Strong?

For those unfamiliar with the material, Graphite is composed of layers of carbon atoms linked together in the form of a hexagonal lattice. They are solid links, or covalent bonds as they are more technically known, and the carbon atoms are only 0.142 nanometres apart, indicating that they are incredibly close together. There have been numerous studies conducted that have demonstrated that Graphite is an excellent mineral with several unique properties. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and it retains its natural strength and stiffness even at temperatures over 3600 degrees Celsius. In addition to being self-lubricating, this material is also chemically resistant.

Is Graphite More Stable than Diamond in Terms of Bond Strength?

This JC2 webinar will look at the bond energy of the carbon-carbon bond in Graphite and diamond, and other materials. This means that Graphite is more stable than diamond due to the lower enthalpy of the substance. As a result, the carbon-carbon bond in Graphite is more stable than the carbon-carbon bond in diamond, indicating that Graphite is a more stable material.

Is Diamond the Most Durable of All Materials?

Diamond is the most complex material on the Mohs scale of hardness, ranking 10th on the scale as the hardest substance. The Mohs scale is used to compare the relative hardness of different materials. On the other hand, hardness is not linear, and it has been calculated that diamond is many times harder than the next hardest substance (corundum), which is rated at 9.

Is Diamond the Hardest Substance?

The most challenging material is diamond, ranked number 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The relative hardness of materials is measured using the Mohs scale. However, because hardness is non-linear, diamond is estimated to be many times harder than the next hardest substance (corundum), with a hardness of 9. Each carbon atom has four electrons in its outermost shell. These electrons are shared with four other carbon atoms in diamond to form powerful chemical bonds, resulting in a tetrahedral crystal that is highly rigid. Diamond is one of the most complex substances on the planet because of this simple, tightly bonded arrangement. 


In Graphite, the carbon atoms are also arranged in an infinite array. They are joined at the corners by three others. With 120-degree C-C bond angles, these three atoms form a hexagonal network. Van der Waals forces, weak bonding forces, hold graphite sheets together. This allows the sheets to slide past each other, so writing on them is so comfortable. It also has lubricating properties, making it better for writing. Graphite is a mineral used in pencils, lubricants, solar panels, and electric arcs, among other things. Although Graphite is a naturally occurring substance it is processed and manufactured to increase its value. Graphite has a low thermal expansion and a high conductivity due to this. They can cut through other materials when polished and are used in jewelry and other materials.