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Comparison of Carbon with Silicon

Diamond is an insulator, but silicon is a semiconductor. This is because the band gap in Si is smaller than that in C. There is no Si analogue of graphite; the larger size if the Si atom means that the overlap of the Si p-orbitals is poor, and hence that Si pπ-pπ bonding is poor.

Oxides of Carbon

There are two main forms of the oxides of Carbon: Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2).


The carbides (in which C reacts with another element to form a binary compound) can be broadly categorized depending on the nature of the bonding which exists within these compounds. Saline Carbides are those where the bonding is largely ionic; and Metallic Carbides are those which exhibit metallic conductivity.

Carbon, its Allotropes and Structures

Carbon has electronic configuration [He]2s22p2, and main formal oxidation state +4 (there are other oxidation states, but all use all of carbon’s valence electrons in bonding).