The layers of graphite are held together via London dispersion force. This force is weak. I know carbon having a smaller atomic radius and few electrons is one factor for this force's weakness.

But, the free electron is weakly bound with the adjacent three atoms. Does this constrains the free electron's ability to disperse, making the London force weaker?

P.S. This might be a duplicate question. Inform me if you find similar one(I haven't found any)

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    – Jan
    Nov 6 '16 at 0:07
  • $\begingroup$ I think I don't get your point. What do you mean by constrained by attraction? $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Nov 6 '16 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ Hope the new edit will make things more clear. $\endgroup$ Nov 6 '16 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ London force is generally weak; graphite is not special at all in this regard. $\endgroup$ Nov 6 '16 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ But the bonding with 3 adjacent atoms still has some effect, no? $\endgroup$ Nov 6 '16 at 11:36

We need to look at the orbitals, where are the electrons localized? because the hybridization of the carbons in grpahite are sp2 we have one free p orbital with one electron, which is denoted as the pz orbital. The free pz electron then forms the resonance bond with the adjacent carbons. Therefore there are no non bonding valence electrons to contribute much for the London dispersion interactions.


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