Carbon is among the most common aspects on earth, and greatly influences day-to-day life. Common molecules containing carbon encompass carbon dioxide (CO2) and also methane (CH4). Many scientists in a range of areas study of carbon: biologist investigating the beginnings of life; oceanographers measure the acidification the the oceans; and also engineers occurring diamond film tools. This article details the regular properties the the carbon family and also briefly discusses the the individual properties of carbon, silicon, germanium, tin, lead, and also flerovium.

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The carbon family, team 14 in the p-block, contains carbon (C), silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), tin (Sn), lead (Pb), and flerovium (Fl). Each of these elements has only two electron in that outermost ns orbital: each has the electron configuration ns2np2. The group 14 elements tend to adopt oxidation claims of +4 and, for the heavier elements, +2 as result of the inert pair effect.

Figure (PageIndex1): group 14 in the routine Table

Members the this team conform well to general periodic trends. The atomic radii boost down the group, and ionization energies decrease. Metallic properties rise down the group. Carbon is a non-metal, silicon and germanium room metalloids, and tin and lead are poor metals (they command heat and electricity less properly than other metals such together copper).

Despite their adherence to regular trends, the nature of the carbon family vary greatly. Because that example, carbon is a non-metal and also behaves together such, vice versa, tin and also lead behave entirely as metals. In their elemental hard states, the team 14 metalloids silicon and germanium action as electric semiconductors, back silicon is largely non-metallic; their electric conductivity have the right to be influenced in various levels by doping, or including of team 13 or group 15 aspects in differing concentrations to the group 14 hard matrix. This semiconductor properties have wide application because that circuitry contents in the electronics industry, such as diodes, transistors, and integrated circuit (IC) chips.

ElementSymbolAtomic #Atomic MassClassificationElectron Configuration
Carbon C 6 12.011 Non-metal 2s22p2
Silicon Si 14 28.0855 Metalloid 3s23p2
Germanium Ge 32 72.61 Metalloid 3d104s24p2
Tin Sn 50 118.710 Metal 4d105s25p2
Lead Pb 82 207.2 Metal 4f145d106s26p2
Flerovium Fl 114 287 Metal 5f146d107s27p2


Carbon is the fourth most abundant facet on earth. That is of certain interest in essential ubraintv-jp.comistry, as it is the separating feature of an organic compound. The is also considered the "backbone" of biology, together all life creates on planet are carbon-based. This is due to two important characteristics of carbon: its little size and its distinctive electron configuration. Due to the fact that carbon atoms are small, their p-orbital electrons overlap substantially and allow π bonds come form. Compare the molecular structures of CO2 and also SiO2 below:


(ceCO_2) has double bonds between carbon and also oxygen atoms, whereas (ceSiO2) has solitary bonds. The (ceCO_2) molecule exists openly in the gas phase. The (ceSiO_2) molecule, by contrast, always exists in ~ a network that covalent bonds.

Carbon"s electron construction of enables it to kind very stable bonds with oxygen and hydrogen. This bonds keep an massive amount the energy. The formation (fixation) and also breakage (combustion) of this bonds in the carbon cycle facilitate earthly life:

Carbon combustion: In aerobic respiration, plants and also animals break carbohydrates down into carbon dioxide and water (as presented in the equation below) and use the power released to fuel organic activities—growth, movement, etc. In addition, the burning of carbohydrates uncovered in fossil fuels provides power needed for contemporary activities.

Next to sulfur, carbon is the facet with the most allotropes. Carbon has three main solid state allotropes: graphite, diamond, and fullerenes (the most commonly known the which, buckminsterfullerene, is likewise known as a "buckyball"). These allotrope differ greatly in structure yet are widely supplied in contemporary production.


Graphite and a diamond

Graphite has lubricating properties the make it extremely suitable for usage in pencils. Since it is consisted of of plane of six-membered rings the can quickly slide past one another, graphite glides easily and also is therefore used in mix with clay to type pencil "lead." Graphite is likewise used in a fibrous form for assorted plastics.

Carbon has very high melting and also boiling points. Graphite is the most thermodynamically steady allotrope the carbon under ordinary conditions. In diamond, the much more stable allotrop at too much pressures (105 atm and also up), each carbon atom is bonded to four others in a tetrahedral arrangement, leading to the hardest naturally-occurring substance known. This hardness, combined with a good ability to dissipate heat, renders diamond and diamond film great materials in drill bits and other device parts; however, the highest-quality herbal diamonds room used mainly for jewelry, conversely, lower-grade diamond or even man-made diamond is offered for commercial purposes.

Fullerenes (named ~ R. Buckminster Fuller) and also nanotubes are a series of carbon allotropes in i beg your pardon carbon rings form more facility forms, including soccerball-like molecules (C60) and also tubes resembling cylinders do of chicken wire. Graphene, a solitary carbon sheet v intriguing digital properties, is the basis for these allotropes. Fullerenes take place when a certain percentage of hexagonal rings space assembled to type pentagonal rings, causing the sheet to contort right into a about spherical "Buckyball." A carbon nanotube is merely graphene bent into a cylinder. Few of these allotropes are created in the decomposition of graphite. Burning can additionally yield alternative carbon forms. Heated charcoal without air creates coke. An in similar way heated timber becomes charcoal as much more volatile integrands are compelled away.

4-) to host nutrients in the soil, where their roots have the right to absorb castle (Sadava 787). Silicon (primarily in the silica, SiO2, molecule) has been provided for millennia in the development of ceramics and glass. In much more recent history, the surname "Silicon Valley" attests come the element"s importance in the computing industry— if carbon is the backbone of human intelligence, silicon is the backbone of fabricated intelligence. Silicon is uncovered in coast sand, and also is a major component of concrete and brick.

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Germanium is a rare element used in the to produce of semi-conductor devices. The physical and also ubraintv-jp.comical properties of germanium space very similar to those of silicon. The semi-metal is discovered in coal, ore, and germanite. Germanium is gray-white in color and forms decision structures.