Some products don"t fall into any type of of the categories that we have actually viewed so much. They are not steels, so they can not be explained as lattices of similar ions surrounded by delocalized electrons. They are not ionic solids, so they can"t be thought of as arrays of one form of ion through the counterions packed right into the interstitial holes to balance the charge. They are not molecules, so we wouldn"t draw them as discrete, self-consisted of collections of linked atoms.

You are watching: Which compound is an example of a network solid

Diamond, for instance, is a netjob-related solid. Diamond is an allotrope of carbon -- it is just one of numerous creates of elepsychological carbon uncovered in nature. It looks somepoint prefer this, on an atomic range. The lines are bonds in between the carbon atoms. Each carbon atom makes four bonds, one to each of four different neighbours.


Diamond is composed totally of carbon atoms, yet carbon is also electronegative to enable its electrons to entirely delocalise right into an electron sea, prefer metallic elements perform. It develops a crystalline, solid framework, but it does not disdeal with also a tiny little bit in water choose ionic compounds would certainly, because it has actually no ions to develop ion-dipole interactions via the water molecules. It creates covalent bonds through its adjoining atoms, sharing these electrons quite than extransforming them, yet it creates an extensive solid rather than individual units.

Network-related solids are like molecules because they have actually covalent bonds connecting their atoms.

Network-related solids are unlike molecules because they do not have a minimal or particular size; their frameworks can extfinish "seemingly forever" on the atomic scale.

What do the majority of civilization recognize around diamonds? They are incredibly expensive, of course. They are extremely shiny. They are extremely, extremely tough. In truth, tbelow is a scale provided by minerologists to describe the hardness of products referred to as "Mohs scale of hardness". The range was arisen by German geologist Friedwealthy Mohs in the at an early stage 1800"s. It sindicate locations ten various minerals in order from softest to hardest and also assigns each of them a number. Diamond is a 10, interpretation it is the hardest product on the range. Diamond is, in truth, the hardest naturally-ocurring substance in the people.

Table NW1.1. Mohs scale of hardness.


Mohs range is qualitative, not quantitative; each mineral in the scale is harder than the one before it. Mohs range has been widely offered by area geologists bereason of its simplicity. If you pick up a mineral and also deserve to scrape it via that diamond you keep in your toolbox, but the corundum does not leave a mark, then the hardness of the brand-new sample is around 9.

Problem NW1.1.

Rank the adhering to minerals making use of Mohs range.

a) graphite, which scratches talc however is itself scratched by gypsum

b) stishovite, which have the right to scrape corundum yet not diamond; diamond scratches stishovite

c) opal, which scratches orthoclase and fluorite but not quartz or topaz

d) obsidian, which deserve to be scratched by quartz and orthoclase but not apatite; obsidian does not scrape apatite, either

e) ruby, which is scratched by diamond; but, neither corundum nor ruby can scratch each various other.

f) emerald, which deserve to be scratched by ruby and also topaz however scratches quartz

Problem NW1.2.

"Absolute hardness" can be measured in a number of methods. For example, a sample have the right to be scored by a diamond needle making use of carefully managed press, and the width or depth of the score have the right to be measured to get a quantitative comparichild of the hardness of various materials.

Plot the hardness of each material according to Mohs scale on the x axis and the hardness established by a sclerometer test to check out the connection in between Mohs scale and absolute hardness.



What renders diamond so hard? Let"s compare it to a few of the softer minerals in the scale. Gypamount is a crystalline hydprice of calcium sulfate: CaSO4.2H2O. Calpoint out is a mineral form of calcium carbonate: CaCO3. Fluorite is composed of calcium fluoride: CaF2.

These materials are all ionic solids. Gypsum has calcium cations and sulfate anions, and bound water. Calmention contains calcium ions and carbonate ions. Fluorite contains calcium ions and also fluoride ions. Sudepend the ionic bonds that hold these ions together are exceptionally solid. Why deserve to they be dedeveloped and also scratched?

An ionic bond is not directional. It does not matter whether a sulfate ion is over or listed below a calcium ion, or to the left or the best of it. The attraction in between the ions is still the same.

If we imagine a shearing pressure on a crystal of calcium sulfate, interpretation that we are pushing versus just one layer of the crystalline product, then we can watch that layer slide in response to the force. As the ions in that layer slide, they begin to lose their attraction to the ions in the layer beneath them, however then they become attracted to new ions that are sliding in the direction of. When we are finiburned, we still have actually an ionic solid in which ions are atracted to counterions roughly them, yet the partners have actually adjusted.


We can"t execute that in diamond bereason the carbon atoms are all covalently bonded to each various other. The electrons in those bonds show up to be localized in particular regions of room approximately the carbon atoms, making a framework of tetrahedra. That solid frame holds each carbon atom in area through 4 bonds, so that it is difficult to dislocation any one atom or layer of atoms.

Silicon: an analogue of carbon

Silsymbol is uncovered listed below carbon in the regular table. Consequently, it has actually some chemical similarities via its neighbour. For instance, pure silicon adopts a framework that is incredibly equivalent to that of diamond.

Elepsychological silicon, Si, is indispensible for contemporary electronics bereason, in the visibility of map impurities, it has actually semiconducting properties. However, elepsychological silicon really does not exist in nature. It should go with chemical reduction from silica, SiO2, in an electric arc furnace:

SiO2 + 2C --> Si + 2 CO

The resulting silicon is painstakingly purified by a variety of chemical processes. For instance, it deserve to be converted to SiCl4, which is then purified repeatedly by means of distillation to remove map impurities, then turned earlier into silicon by reduction with zinc:

SiCl4 + 2Zn --> Si + 2 ZnCl2

One of the final steps is recrystallization of the silsymbol from its molten phase. A rod with a little "seed" of pure silicon is dipped into the molten silsymbol and also progressively drawn upwards. As the molten silsymbol cools versus the cooler surchallenge of the rod, it recrystallizes. The rod is pulled gradually upward, and also pure silicon continues to prosper on the cooler, crytsalline silicon being pulled from the melt, creating a long crystal.

Problem NW1.3.

Draw the structure of elepsychological silsymbol.

Problem NW1.4.

Silicone is not the very same thing as silicon. Silicone is a class of polymer. It exists as lengthy, functional chains in which the same team of atoms is repeated over and also over. There are several kinds of silicone, yet one example of a silicone formula is ((CH3)2SiO)n. The subscript n suggests the unit in parentheses is repeated over and over in a chain.

a) Draw a area of silicone a number of units lengthy.

b) Explain just how the structures of silsymbol and also silicone can provide them very various physical properties.

This website is created and also preserved by Chris P. Schaller, Ph.D., College of Saint Benedict / Saint John"s University (with contributions from other authors as noted). It is freely available for educational usage.

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Structure & Retask in Organic, Biological and also Inorganic Chemistry by Chris Schaller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.