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Introduction

In any sort of discussion of crystalline materials, it is useful to begin with a discussion of crystallography: the study of the formation, structure, and properties of crystals. A crystal structure is defined as the particular repeating arrangement of atoms (molecules or ions) throughout a crystal. Structure refers to the internal arrangement of particles and not the external appearance of the crystal. However, these are not entirely independent since the external appearance of a crystal is often related to the internal arrangement. For example, crystals of cubic rock salt (NaCl) are physically cubic in appearance. Only a few of the possible crystal structures are of concern with respect to simple inorganic salts and these will be discussed in detail, however, it is important to understand the nomenclature of crystallography.

Crystallography

Bravais lattice

The Bravais lattice is the basic building block from which all crystals can be constructed. The concept originated as a topological problem of finding the number of different ways to arrange points in space where each point would have an identical “atmosphere”. That is each point would be surrounded by an identical set of points as any other point, so that all points would be indistinguishable from each other. Mathematician Auguste Bravais discovered that there were 14 different collections of the groups of points, which are known as Bravais lattices. These lattices fall into seven different "crystal systems”, as differentiated by the relationship between the angles between sides of the “unit cell” and the distance between points in the unit cell. The unit cell is the smallest group of atoms, ions or molecules that, when repeated at regular intervals in three dimensions, will produce the lattice of a crystal system. The “lattice parameter” is the length between two points on the corners of a unit cell. Each of the various lattice parameters are designated by the letters a , b , and c . If two sides are equal, such as in a tetragonal lattice, then the lengths of the two lattice parameters are designated a and c , with b omitted. The angles are designated by the Greek letters α, β, and γ size 12{γ} {} , such that an angle with a specific Greek letter is not subtended by the axis with its Roman equivalent. For example, α is the included angle between the b and c axis.

[link] shows the various crystal systems, while [link] shows the 14 Bravais lattices. It is important to distinguish the characteristics of each of the individual systems. An example of a material that takes on each of the Bravais lattices is shown in [link] .

Geometrical characteristics of the seven crystal systems.
System Axial lengths and angles Unit cell geometry
cubic a = b = c, α = β = γ size 12{γ} {} = 90°
tetragonal a = b ≠ c, α = β = γ size 12{γ} {} = 90°
orthorhombic a ≠ b ≠ c, α = β = γ size 12{γ} {} = 90°
rhombohedral a = b = c, α = β = γ size 12{γ} {} ≠ 90°
hexagonal a = b ≠ c, α = β = 90°, γ size 12{γ} {} = 120°
monoclinic a ≠ b ≠ c, α = γ size 12{γ} {} = 90°, β ≠ 90°
triclinic a ≠ b ≠ c, α ≠ β ≠ γ size 12{γ} {}
Bravais lattices.
Examples of elements and compounds that adopt each of the crystal systems.
Crystal system Example
triclinic K 2 S 2 O 8
monoclinic As 4 S 4 , KNO 2
rhombohedral Hg, Sb
hexagonal Zn, Co, NiAs
orthorhombic Ga, Fe 3 C
tetragonal In, TiO 2
cubic Au, Si, NaCl

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.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
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
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
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
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
hi
Loga
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Good
advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Physical methods in chemistry and nano science. OpenStax CNX. May 05, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10699/1.21
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