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Some students were discussing whether to make wires for a phone charger from copper metal or graphite. Compare the properties of copper and graphite to decide which material would be better for making the wire (6)?

As carbon is malleable and ductile, this makes it a suitable material for the wire. Being a conductor of heat and electricity is also very important to do this. Graphite, with one delocalised electron per atom, arranged in hexagons with weak covalent bonds between them, can conduct electricity. The covalent bonds, between the layers are strong, taking a lot of energy to break, make graphite a durable material. Graphite therefore has a high melting and boiling point. Cooper would be better for making the wire as it is unreactive. The layers of covalent bonds allow graphite to slide so the wire may not have a rigid structure.

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Emma Berwick

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