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Diamond crystal structure

Diamond crystal structure

C037/8222

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Credit

LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Diamond. Computer illustration showing the molecular structure of diamond, a form of the element carbon. Carbon atoms are shown as spheres, linked by rigid bonds. Each carbon atom in a diamond molecule is positioned at the centre of a tetrahedron, linked to four other atoms at the corners of the tetrahedron by strong covalent bonds. This repeating tetrahedral arrangement allows no rotation about the bonds, and so the structure is completely rigid, making diamond the hardest known naturally-occurring material. It is used in industry to tip heavy-duty cutting and drilling equipment and is also a precious gemstone.

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