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Coordination number

The coordination number of an atom or ion within an extended structure is defined as the number of nearest neighbor atoms (ions of opposite charge) that are in contact with it. A slightly different definition is often used for atoms within individual molecules: the number of donor atoms associated with the central atom or ion. However, this distinction is rather artificial, and both can be employed.

The coordination numbers for metal atoms in a molecule or complex are commonly 4, 5, and 6, but all values from 2 to 9 are known and a few examples of higher coordination numbers have been reported. In contrast, common coordination numbers in the solid state are 3, 4, 6, 8, and 12. For example, the atom in the center of body-centered cubic lattice has a coordination number of 8, because it touches the eight atoms at the corners of the unit cell, while an atom in a simple cubic structure would have a coordination number of 6. In both fcc and hcp lattices each of the atoms have a coordination number of 12.

Octahedral and tetrahedral vacancies

As was mentioned above, the packing fraction in both fcc and hcp cells is 74.05%, leaving 25.95% of the volume unfilled. The unfilled lattice sites (interstices) between the atoms in a cell are called interstitial sites or vacancies. The shape and relative size of these sites is important in controlling the position of additional atoms. In both fcc and hcp cells most of the space within these atoms lies within two different sites known as octahedral sites and tetrahedral sites. The difference between the two lies in their “coordination number”, or the number of atoms surrounding each site. Tetrahedral sites (vacancies) are surrounded by four atoms arranged at the corners of a tetrahedron. Similarly, octahedral sites are surrounded by six atoms which make-up the apices of an octahedron. For a given close packed lattice an octahedral vacancy will be larger than a tetrahedral vacancy.

Within a face centered cubic lattice, the eight tetrahedral sites are positioned within the cell, at the general fractional coordinate of ( n / 4 , n / 4 , n / 4 ) where n = 1 or 3, e.g., ( 1 / 4 , 1 / 4 , 1 / 4 ), ( 1 / 4 , 1 / 4 , 3 / 4 ), etc. The octahedral sites are located at the center of the unit cell ( 1 / 2 , 1 / 2 , 1 / 2 ), as well as at each of the edges of the cell, e.g., ( 1 / 2 ,0,0). In the hexagonal close packed system, the tetrahedral sites are at (0,0, 3 / 8 ) and ( 1 / 3 , 2 / 3 , 7 / 8 ), and the octahedral sites are at ( 1 / 3 , 1 / 3 , 1 / 4 ) and all symmetry equivalent positions.

Important structure types

The majority of crystalline materials do not have a structure that fits into the one atom per site simple Bravais lattice. A number of other important crystal structures are found, however, only a few of these crystal structures are those of which occur for the elemental and compound semiconductors and the majority of these are derived from fcc or hcp lattices. Each structural type is generally defined by an archetype, a material (often a naturally occurring mineral) which has the structure in question and to which all the similar materials are related. With regard to commonly used elemental and compound semiconductors the important structures are diamond, zinc blende, Wurtzite, and to a lesser extent chalcopyrite. However, rock salt, β-tin, cinnabar and cesium chloride are observed as high pressure or high temperature phases and are therefore also discussed. The following provides a summary of these structures. Details of the full range of solid-state structures are given elsewhere.

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

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