each of two or more different physical forms in which an element can exist. Graphite, charcoal, and diamond are all allotropes of carbon.
Allotropes are different structural modifications of an element; the atoms of the element are bonded together in a different manner. For example, the allotropes of carbon include diamond (the carbon atoms are bonded together in a tetrahedral lattice arrangement), graphite (the carbon atoms are bonded together in sheets of a hexagonal lattice), graphene (single sheets of graphite), and fullerenes (the carbon atoms are bonded together in spherical, tubular, or ellipsoidal formations). The term allotropy is used for elements only, not for compounds. The more general term, used for any crystalline material, is polymorphism. Allotropy refers only to different forms of an element within the same phase (i.e.: solid, liquid or gasstates); differences in these states alone would not constitute exa