Graphite

Graphite (/ˈɡræfˌt/), archaically referred to as plumbago, is a crystalline form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a hexagonal structure. It occurs naturally in this form and is the most stable form of carbon under standard conditions. Under high pressures and temperatures it converts to diamond. Graphite is used in pencils and lubricants. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity. Its high conductivity makes it useful in electronic products such as electrodes, batteries, and solar panels.

Graphite
Graphite specimen
General
CategoryNative mineral
Formula
(repeating unit)
C
Strunz classification1.CB.05a
Crystal systemHexagonal
Crystal classDihexagonal dipyramidal (6/mmm)
Hermann–Mauguin notation: (6/m 2/m 2/m)
Space groupP63mc (buckled) P63/mmc (flat)
Unit cella = 2.461, c = 6.708 [Å]; Z = 4
Identification
ColorIron-black to steel-gray; deep blue in transmitted light
Crystal habitTabular, six-sided foliated masses, granular to compacted masses
TwinningPresent
CleavageBasal – perfect on {0001}
FractureFlaky, otherwise rough when not on cleavage
TenacityFlexible non-elastic, sectile
Mohs scale hardness1–3
LusterMetallic, earthy
StreakBlack
DiaphaneityOpaque, transparent only in extremely thin flakes
Specific gravity1.9–2.3
Density2.09–2.23 g/cm3
Optical propertiesUniaxial (−)
PleochroismStrong
SolubilitySoluble in molten nickel, warm chlorosulfuric acid[1]
Other characteristicsstrongly anisotropic, conducts electricity, greasy feel, readily marks
References[2][3][4]