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Published by Somnath Saha

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Published by: Somnath Saha on Apr 03, 2011
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SyllabusModule 4:Elementary ideas of crystal structure - lattice, basis, unit cell, Fundamental types of lattices – Bravaislattice, Simple cubic, f.c.c. and b.c.c. lattices, (use of models in the class during teaching is desirable]Miller indices and miller planes, Co-ordination number and Atomic packing factor.X-rays – Origin of Characteristic and Continuous X-ray, Bragg’s law (No derivation), Determination of lattice constant.
Lecture 1
Solid-state physics, the largest branch of condensed matter physics, is the study of rigidmatter, or solids. The bulk of solid-state physics theory and research is focused oncrystals, largely because the periodicity of atoms in a crystal — its defining characteristic—facilitates mathematical modeling, and also because crystalline materials often haveelectrical, magnetic, optical, or mechanical properties that can be exploited forengineering purposes.
Categories of Solids Based on the Solid Pack
Solids can be divided into three categories on the basis of how the particles that form thesolid pack.Crystalline solids are three-dimensional analogs of a brick wall. They have a regularstructure, in which the particles pack in a repeating pattern from one edge of the solid tothe other.Amorphous solids (literally, "solids without form") have a random structure, with little if any long-range order.Polycrystalline solids are an aggregate of a large number of small crystals or grains inwhich the structure is regular, but the crystals or grains are arranged in a random fashion.The extent to which a solid is crystalline has important effects on its physical properties.
Categories of Solids Based on Bonds that Hold the Solid Together
There are a number of different possible bonding mechanisms, which will determine theatomic arrangements and the physical properties of the resulting solids. If all materialsare made of atoms, whether the material is a solid or a liquid or a vapor depends onwhether the atoms form some relatively rigid bond with respect to their neighboringatoms or whether that bond is such that the atoms or molecules can move with respect toeach other, yet form a surface (as in a condensed droplet), or whether they behaveindependently of each other and can only be contained within a closed volume.
Covalent solids
, such as diamond, form crystals that can be viewed as a single giantmolecule made up of an almost endless number of covalent bonds. Each carbon atom indiamond is covalently bound to four other carbon atoms oriented toward the corners of atetrahedron, as shown in the figure below. Because all of the bonds in this structure are
 2equally strong, covalent solids are often very hard and they are notoriously difficult tomelt. Diamond is the hardest natural substance and it melts at 3550°C.
Ionic solids
are salts, such as NaCl, that are held together by the strong force of attractionbetween ions of opposite charge. Because this force of attraction depends on the squareof the distance between the positive and negative charges, the strength of an ionic bonddepends on the radii of the ions that form the solid. As these ions become larger, the bondbecomes weaker.The force of attraction between atoms in
metallic solids
, such as copper and aluminum,or alloys, such as brass and bronze, are metallic bonds. Metal atoms don't have enoughelectrons to fill their valence shells by sharing electrons with their immediate neighbors.Therefore many atoms, instead of just two, share electrons in the valence shell.Note:
All ionic solids and most covalent solids are crystalline.
All solid metals, under normal circumstances, are crystalline.
The ideal crystal has an infinite 3D repetition of identical units, which may beatoms or molecules.
Differences between Solids and Crystals
The term "liquid crystal" seems, at first glance, to be a contradiction, as we areaccustomed to equating crystals with solids. There are some important differencesbetween solids and crystals, however. In a crystal, molecules are ordered, but notnecessarily held rigidly in place. In a crystal, molecules are ordered, but not necessarilyheld rigidly in place. In contrast, in solids the orientation and positions of the atoms, ionsor molecules are fixed, but not necessarily ordered with respect to each other. Often, bothof these properties coincide in the same material to give rise to a crystalline solid.
Difference between Amorphous Solids and Crystalline Solids
Amorphous Solids Crystalline Solids
Solids that don't have definitegeometrical shape.They have characteristic geometrical shapeAmorphous solids don't have particularmelting point. They melt over a wide rangeof temperature.They have sharp melting pointPhysical properties of amorphous solids aresame in different direction, i.e. amorphoussolids are isotropicPhysical properties of crystalline solids aregenerally different in different directions.This phenomenon is known as Anisotropy.Amorphous solids are asymmetrical When crystalline solids are rotated about anaxis, their appearance does not change.This shows that they are symmetricalAmorphous solids don't break atfixed cleavage planes.Crystalline solids cleavage along particulardirection at fixed cleavage planes.
The Crystal, Lattice and Atomic Basis
A crystal is a three-dimensional body, which consists of a single atom or a group of atoms arranged as a periodic array.The mathematical construction, the lattice, gives the array its periodic nature. Attachingan atom or a group of atoms to each lattice point produces the crystal.
: A physical crystal receives its periodic structure from a lattice, which is amathematical object. In general, the three-dimensional lattices are referred as
. And it is defined as an infinite array of points in three dimensions, in whichevery point has an identical environment as any other point in the array. These individualpoints are called
lattice points
lattice sites
.The mathematical definition for the lattice:Given three non-coplanar vectors
, we define the lattice to be the collection of points given by
for all integers
(positive or negative).As an important note, the primitive vectors
in the definition need be neitherunit vectors nor orthogonal.
: The crystal consists of an atomic basis (or atomic cluster) attached to the latticepoints. The “basis” can be a single atom or a group of atoms attached to each lattice point. Each lattice point receives an identical basis (or cluster). The (infinite) crystalconsists of the collection of these regularly arranged clusters.

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