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

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    $\begingroup$ Can you define what those directions mean? You're assuming an orientation that is not explicitly defined for us... $\endgroup$
    – Zhe
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 13:59
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    $\begingroup$ Turn your piece of graphite sideways, and it will conduct vertically all right. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Zhe I asked the reason. In one orientation it conducts and in the other it does not, why? $\endgroup$
    – user40935
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ @IvanNeretin Why in one orientation it conducts electricity and in the other it does not? $\endgroup$
    – user40935
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$
    – Zhe
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 17:26

1 Answer 1

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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?

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    $\begingroup$ There is no "between". The conduction electrons are located in those very orbitals. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Wait - so the delocalised electrons in graphite are part of one giant molecular orbital? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, indeed they are. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 19:58

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