New mineral classification system captures Earth's complex past

The first minerals to form in the universe were nanocrystalline diamonds, which condensed from gases ejected when the first generation of stars exploded. Diamonds that crystallize under the extreme pressure and temperature ...

Imperfection is OK for better MOFs

Perfect crystals are not necessarily the most useful. Defects in the ordered crystalline structure of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) could tailor these versatile materials for specific applications. KAUST researchers have ...

Inorganic perovskite absorbers for use in thin-film solar cells

A team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has succeeded in producing inorganic perovskite thin films at moderate temperatures using co-evaporation - making post-tempering at high temperatures unnecessary. The process makes it ...

Layered liquids arrange nanoparticles into useful configurations

Materials scientists at Duke University have theorized a new "oil-and-vinegar" approach to engineering self-assembling materials of unusual architectures made out of spherical nanoparticles. The resulting structures could ...

Icy giant planets in the laboratory

Giant planets like Uranus and Neptune may contain much less free hydrogen than previously assumed. Researchers from the German Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) drove shock waves through two types of plastic to ...

Anti-fatigue-fracture hydrogels

Hydrogels are polymer networks infiltrated with water, widely used for tissue engineering vehicles of drug delivery and novel platforms for biomedical engineering. Emerging applications for new hydrogel materials call for ...

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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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