Graphite (/ˈɡræft/) is a crystalline form of the element carbon. It consists of stacked layers of graphene. Graphite occurs naturally and is the most stable form of carbon under standard conditions. Synthetic and natural graphite are consumed on large scale (300 kton/year, in 1989) for uses in pencils, lubricants, and electrodes. Under high pressures and temperatures it converts to diamond. It is a weak conductor of heat and electricity.[6]

Graphite specimen
CategoryNative mineral
(repeating unit)
IMA symbolGr[1]
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
ColorIron-black to steel-gray; deep blue in transmitted light
Crystal habitTabular, six-sided foliated masses, granular to compacted masses
CleavageBasal – perfect on {0001}
FractureFlaky, otherwise rough when not on cleavage
TenacityFlexible non-elastic, sectile
Mohs scale hardness1–2
LusterMetallic, earthy
DiaphaneityOpaque, transparent only in extremely thin flakes
Specific gravity1.9–2.3
Density2.09–2.23 g/cm3
Optical propertiesUniaxial (−)
SolubilitySoluble in molten nickel, warm chlorosulfuric acid[2]
Other characteristicsstrongly anisotropic, conducts electricity, greasy feel, readily marks

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