Digging water channels in mineral stishovite

Stishovite has the same chemical formula as silica quartz (SiO2) but it has much higher density. While SiO2 is abundant on Earth's crust, it is also a major component of basalt, a type of igneous rock that is rich in iron ...

Fiber optics shed light on solid-state physics phenomena

Researchers from two laboratories at ULB have realized a synthetic dimension for light using a fiber optic ring. This ingenious system simulates the periodic motion of a particle in a crystal in order to study its behavior ...

Two-dimensional nanoparticles with great catalytic potential

Hydrogen is considered an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional fossil fuels. Until now, expensive and rare substances such as platinum have been needed for its catalytic production, for example via electrolytic ...

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Crystal structure

In mineralogy and crystallography, a crystal structure is a unique arrangement of atoms in a crystal. A crystal structure is composed of a motif, a set of atoms arranged in a particular way, and a lattice. Motifs are located upon the points of a lattice, which is an array of points repeating periodically in three dimensions. The points can be thought of as forming identical tiny boxes, called unit cells, that fill the space of the lattice. The lengths of the edges of a unit cell and the angles between them are called the lattice parameters. The symmetry properties of the crystal are embodied in its space group. A crystal's structure and symmetry play a role in determining many of its properties, such as cleavage, electronic band structure, and optical properties.

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