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)

Source

  • Zumdahl, Steven S.; Zumdahl, Susan A. (2000). Chemistry (5 ed.). Houghton Mifflin, pp. 470–6. ISBN 0-618-03591-5.