# Flow of current in graphite [duplicate]

Why current flows through graphite if we join the poles of a battery to it horizontally and why not vertically?

• Can you define what those directions mean? You're assuming an orientation that is not explicitly defined for us...
– Zhe
Sep 20 '17 at 13:59
• Turn your piece of graphite sideways, and it will conduct vertically all right. Sep 20 '17 at 13:59
• @Zhe I asked the reason. In one orientation it conducts and in the other it does not, why? Sep 20 '17 at 17:05
• @IvanNeretin Why in one orientation it conducts electricity and in the other it does not? Sep 20 '17 at 17:07
• Net electron flux is possible in one direction and not in the other. Graphene has a highly delocalized $\pi$ system roughly within the plane of the sheet, and one might imagine that electron mobility within the conjugated system is quite high.
– Zhe
Sep 20 '17 at 17:26

I'd guess that repulsion between the delocalised electrons and electrons in the molecular orbitals (of each layer of carbon) would keep them between the two layers, as opposed to being able to travel vertically through them?

• There is no "between". The conduction electrons are located in those very orbitals. Sep 20 '17 at 14:16
• Wait - so the delocalised electrons in graphite are part of one giant molecular orbital? Sep 21 '17 at 18:19
• Yes, indeed they are. Sep 21 '17 at 19:58