Thermodynamic Phase Stabilities of Nanocarbon

Authored by: Qing Govind , Shuang Li

1 Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075403
eBook ISBN: 9781420075410
Adobe ISBN:


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Carbon, as one of the most versatile, interesting, and useful elements, is abundant in the earth’s crust, constituting about 0.02%. Carbon is also a unique element in the Periodic Table of Elements, which is the basis for a variety of compounds due to its propensity to form a wide range of bonding networks. Under special circumstances, the s and p orbitals in an atom combine to form hybrid sp n orbitals, where n indicates the number of p-orbitals involved, which may have a value of 1, 2, or 3. The 3A, 4A, and 5A group elements of the Periodic Table are those which most oft en form these hybrids. The driving force for the formation of hybrid orbit is a lower energy state for the valence electrons. For carbon, sp, sp2, and sp3 hybrids may be formed. The sp3 electronic state is of primary importance in organic and polymer chemistries. The shape of the sp3 hybrid determines the 109º (or tetrahedral) angle found in polymer chains. Organic chemistry, which is established on the basis of the C–H bonding, owes its existence to the carbon. Moreover, carbon is also regarded as the interface between living and nonliving matters.

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