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Diamond tetrahedral molecular structure, illustration

Diamond tetrahedral molecular structure, illustration

C042/4532

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100.0 MB (100.0 compressed)

5759 x 6069 pixels

48.8 x 51.3 cm ⏐ 19.2 x 20.2 in (300dpi)

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Credit

MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Diamond tetrahedral molecular structure, illustration. Diamond is a form (allotrope) of the element carbon. It takes the form of regularly repeating units with the tetrahedral structure shown here. The carbon atoms are shown as spheres, linked by rigid bonds. Each carbon atom in a diamond molecule is at the centre of a tetrahedron (as shown here), 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. For illustrations showing the extended repeating structure, see images C042/4526 to C042/4529.

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