Is Diamond Insulator? 5 Facts You Should Know!

Diamond is a pure form of carbon and a precious gemstone. In this article, we shall discuss whether a diamond is an insulator or a conductor with detailed facts.

A diamond is a good conductor of heat but does not conduct electricity and acts as an electric insulator. Diamond is the strongest stone due to the strong C-C bonds with no other impurities forming the face-centered cubic atomic structure, and huge energy is required to break these bonds.

Each carbon atom shares four electrons with the other carbon atoms to form the strongest covalent bonds. We shall further discuss the reason behind the electric insulator of a diamond, whether it is a thermal insulator, why graphite is a conductor, and the electrical conductivity of different types of diamonds in detail.

Why is diamond an electric insulator?

Usually, the electric insulation is due to the unavailability of free electrons for conduction. Let us discuss why a diamond is an electric insulator.

A diamond is an electric insulator because the strong covalent carbon-carbon bonds do not break, and the electrons are not set free to conduct electricity. It has no free electrons as all the 4 valence electrons of a carbon share a bond with other carbon atoms, and huge energy is required to break these bonds.

Is diamond a thermal insulator?

Thermal insulators do not allow heat energy to flow across their matter. Let us analyze whether a diamond is a thermal insulator or not.

A diamond is not a thermal insulator because it is a good conductor of heat and allows heat to pass through it. A diamond has high thermal conductivity as all the electrons form the strongest bond and require high energy to break the bonds. Thus, no free electrons are present to hinder or terminate the heat flow.

Why is diamond insulator and graphite a conductor?

Graphite also contains carbon-carbon bonds like a diamond but still conducts electricity. Let us ponder on this fact in detail.

A diamond is an insulator, while graphite is a conductor because a diamond does not possess free electrons, and graphite has free electrons. A carbon atom in a diamond shares all its four electrons to form covalent bonds, and in the case of graphite, one electron per carbon atom is free, which helps to conduct electricity.

Image Credit: Diamond by Chris 73 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Does blue diamond conduct electricity?

The blue diamond is a blue-colored natural diamond due to the presence of boron in it. Let us discuss whether a blue diamond is capable of conducting electricity.

Blue diamond readily conducts electricity because it is composed of boron. Boron is a good conductor of electricity, and its electronic configuration is 1s2 2s2 2p1 having a single electron in a 2p orbital that is free to move and conduct electricity. At the same time, a blue diamond is also a good thermal conductor.

Do brown diamonds conduct electricity?

The brown diamond is composed of carbon with traces of nitrogen. Let us discuss whether a brown diamond conducts electricity or not.

Brown diamond does not conduct electricity as the free electrons are unavailable. The electronic configuration of nitrogen is 1s2 2s2 2p3 with a stable half-filled 2p orbital, and huge energy is essential to dislocate the electrons thus, it does not add in the electric conductivity of a brown diamond.

Does red diamond conduct electricity?

A red diamond is the rarest diamond found on earth and is extracted from the mines. Let us discuss whether red diamonds conduct electricity or not.

A red diamond does not conduct electricity as it is a pure diamond consisting of C-C bonds, and there are no free electrons for generating electric current. The red color is due to the lattice defect or deformation of its atomic structure, and not due to the inclusion of impurity.

Conclusion

We can conclude with this article that a diamond is an electric insulator and thermal conductor due to the strong covalent bonds between the carbon atoms that it constitutes. They are majorly composed of carbon atoms. A diamond can generate electricity if it composes of some impurities.

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