We Can Figure This Out.org
Virtual Lab: Nanocarbon - From Graphene to Buckyballs
University of Virginia
© 2003-Present, John C. Bean
Carbon has four bonding electrons . If each of these bonds with a different atom, the four bonds form a tetrahedron, with bonds ~109° apart. To chemists and physicists, these are "sigma sp3 hybrid" bonds. Electrons are held immobile in these "sigma" bonds and as a result they will not pass electrical current.

Based on such tetrahedra, the most basic carbon ring structure is "cyclohexane," shown here. Six carbon atoms form the ring. Hydrogen atoms complete the rest of the bonds.

To a chemist, the name cyclohexane expresses the following: "cyclo" = ring, "hex" = six, "ane" = carbon atoms bonded to each other with only single non-conducting sigma bonds (making this molecule is a member of the "alkane" class of carbon compounds).

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