Network Solid Definition in Chemistry

What Is a Network Solid?

Collection of diamonds
Diamonds are an example of network solids.

Jesper Hilding Klausen, Getty Images

A network solid is a substance made up of an array of repeating covalently bonded atoms. Network solids are also known as covalent network solids. Because of the way atoms are arranged, a network solid may be considered a type of macromolecule. Network solids may be either crystals or amorphous solids.

Network Solid Examples

Diamonds are network solids made of carbon atoms. Quartz is a network solid made of continuous SiO2 subunits. A silicon crystal is another example, consisting of Si atoms.

Network Solid Properties

The covalent bonding lends network solids characteristic properties:

  • Generally insoluble in any solvent
  • Very hard
  • High melting point
  • Low electrical conductivity in the liquid phase
  • Variable electrical conductivity in the solid phase (depends on bonding)


  • Zumdahl, Steven S.; Zumdahl, Susan A. (2000). Chemistry (5 ed.). Houghton Mifflin, pp. 470–6. ISBN 0-618-03591-5.
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Network Solid Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 29). Network Solid Definition in Chemistry. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Network Solid Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 6, 2023).