Last edited 12 Jan 2021


When an element exists in two or more different forms - whether as a solid, liquid or gas - it is called an allotrope. In other words, the element exists in various forms that share a similar chemical structure but differ in some way.

Carbon has various allotropes, including diamond, graphene, graphite and charcoal.

Allotropes can themselves form the basic structural elements of other allotropes. For instance, graphene is an allotrope of carbon, but graphene itself forms the basic structural element of other allotropes such as graphite and charcoal.

The ability of a material to be able to exist in one or more such forms is called allotropy.

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