van der Waals' Bonding

The van der Waals' weak bond ties neutral molecules into a lattice and is the weakest of the chemical bonds. This type of bond is not often found in minerals.

van der Waals'-bonded minerals are characterized by:

  • a zone of ready cleavage
  • low hardness

An example is the mineral graphite, which consists of covalent bonded sheets of carbon atoms linked only by van der Waals' bonds. This is what gives graphite a slippery feel