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Cubic crystal system

In crystallography, the cubic (or isometric) crystal system is a crystal system where
the unit cell is in the shape of a cube. This is one of the most common and simplest shapes
found in crystals and minerals.

There are three main varieties of these crystals:

Primitive cubic (abbreviated cP[1] and alternatively called simple cubic)
Body-centered cubic (abbreviated cI[1] or bcc),
A rock containing three crystals
Face-centered cubic (abbreviated cF[1] or fcc, and alternatively called cubic close-
packed or ccp) of pyrite (FeS2). The crystal
structure of pyrite is primitive
Each is subdivided into other variants listed below. Note that although the unit cell in these
cubic, and this is reflected in the
crystals is conventionally taken to be a cube, the primitive unit cell often is not. cubic symmetry of its natural
crystal facets.

Bravais lattices
Crystal classes
Voids in the unit cell
Multi-element compounds
Caesium chloride structure
Rock-salt structure
Zincblende structure
Weaire–Phelan structure
See also A network model of a primitive
cubic system
Further reading
External links

Bravais lattices
The three Bravais lattices in the cubic crystal system are:

Primitive Body-centered Face-centered The primitive and cubic close-
Bravais lattice
cubic cubic cubic
packed (also known as face-
Pearson symbol cP cI cF centered cubic) unit cells

Unit cell

and space groups are listed in the table below. The [111] plane of a face-centered cubic system is a hexagonal grid.4] (Pyrite) 205– Pa3 Ia3 206 207– P432. and the unit cell therefore contains in total one atom (1⁄8 × 8). P4232 F432. point groups. I4132 214 P4132 215– P43m F43m I43m 217 Hextetrahedral Td 43m *332 [3. putting an extra lattice point in the center of each horizontal face) would result in a simple tetragonal Bravais lattice.3] (Sphalerite) 218– P43n F43c I43d 220 Pm3m. International Tables for Crystallography space group number. Point group Space groups Type # Class[3] Schön. Pm3n. Cox. galena type. Each sphere in a cF lattice has coordination number 12. Schönflies notation. Attempting to create a C-centered cubic crystal system (i.. The face-centered cubic system is closely related to the hexagonal close packed (hcp) system.e. Fm3m. Hermann–Mauguin notation. Pn3 Fm3. type.[2] orbifold. Im3m. Example Face. examples. Body- Primitive centered centered 195– P23 F23 I23 197 enantiomorphic Tetartoidal T 23 332 [3. Coordination number is the number of nearest neighbours of a central atom in the structure. There are a total 36 cubic space groups.3]+ (Ullmannite) 198– P213 I213 199 200– Pm3. F4132 I432 211 enantiomorphic Gyroidal O 432 432 [3. that each gives exactly one half contribution. The body-centered cubic system (cI) has one lattice point in the center of the unit cell in addition to the eight corner points. giving a total of 4 lattice points per unit cell (1⁄8 × 8 from the corners plus 1⁄2 × 6 from the faces). Ia3d 230 (m3m) (Galena) Pn3m Fd3c Other terms for hexoctahedral are: normal class. 221– 4/m32/m centrosymmetric Hexoctahedral Oh *432 [3. The face-centered cubic system (cF) has lattice points on the faces of the cube. in addition to the corner lattice points. holohedral. where two systems differ only in the relative placements of their hexagonal layers. Each atom at a lattice point is then shared equally between eight adjacent cubes. It has a net total of 2 lattice points per unit cell (1⁄8 × 8 + 1). ditesseral central class.4]+ (Petzite) 212– P4332. Intl Orb. Crystal classes The isometric crystal system class names. Voids in the unit cell . Fd3 I3 205 2/m3 centrosymmetric Diploidal Th (m3) 3*2 [3+.4] Pn3n. Fm3c.The primitive cubic system (cP) consists of one lattice point on each corner of the cube. Fd3m.

html). for a total of four net octahedral voids. Examples of bcc include iron.[7] Generally. Multi-element compounds Compounds that consist of more than one element (e. A body-centered cubic unit cell has six octahedral voids located at the center of each face of the unit cell. this structure is more likely to be formed from two elements whose ions are of roughly the same size (for example.[4][5] The bcc and fcc. with especially low atomic packing factor. is rare in nature. also called the "caesium chloride" structure. in a bcc lattice. (Loosely packed arrangements do occur.740. Similarly. atoms tend to be more common. As a rule. One important characteristic of a crystalline structure is its atomic packing factor. with a radius large enough that each sphere abuts on the next. the structure also appears in certain other alkali halides when prepared at low temperatures or high pressures. Altogether. tungsten. and Cl− = 181 pm). Additionally.) Accordingly. but they do occasionally appear in multi-atom unit cells. Visualisation of a diamond cubic unit cell: 1. Each of the two atom types forms a separate primitive cubic lattice. Assuming one atom per lattice point. the arrangement of atoms is the same as body-centered cubic. and in fcc it is 0. Additionally. and twelve further ones located at the midpoint of each edge of the same cell. The Strukturbericht designation is "B2". This is calculated by assuming that all the atoms are identical spheres. in a primitive cubic lattice with cube side length a. although there are other lattices which also achieve the same value. These tetrahedral voids are not local maxima and are not technically voids.ilpi. (See picture here (http://www.g. Examples of fcc include aluminium. for a total of twelve net tetrahedral voids. but with alternating types of atoms at the different lattice sites. with an atom of one type at the center of each cube of the other type.) Alternately. A face-centered cubic unit cell has eight tetrahedral voids located midway between each corner and the center of the unit cell.[6] One structure is the "interpenetrating primitive cubic" structure.524 (which is quite low). one could view this lattice as a simple cubic structure with a secondary atom in its cubic void. or "221" (in the International Tables for Crystallography). copper. such as hexagonal close packed and one version of tetrahedral bcc. Caesium chloride structure The space group of the caesium chloride (CsCl) structure is called Pm3m (in Hermann–Mauguin notation). the more tightly packed arrangements of Components of a unit cell. but is found in polonium. In addition to caesium chloride itself. for example if 2. chromium. since atoms in a solid attract each other.680. One unit cell. The fcc value is the highest theoretically possible value for any lattice. . there are 24 tetrahedral voids located in a square spacing around each octahedral void. binary compounds) often have crystal structures based on a cubic crystal system. The atomic packing factor is the proportion of space filled by these spheres. A lattice the orbital hybridization demands certain bond angles. the sphere radius would be a⁄2 and the atomic packing factor turns out to be about 0. ionic radius of Cs+ = 167 pm. for a total of eight net tetrahedral voids. though. gold and silver.A simple cubic unit cell has a single cubic void in the center. 3. Some of the more common ones are listed here. are both quite common in nature. for a total of six net octahedral voids. the atomic packing factor is 0. the primitive-cubic of 3 x 3 x 3 unit cells structure. with their higher densities. there are twelve octahedral voids located at the midpoints of the edges of the unit cell as well as one octahedral hole in the very center of the and niobium.

β-CdS.[9] 2. AgF. the arrangement of atoms in zincblende structure is the same as diamond cubic structure. with octahedral almost all other alkali halides. each of the two atom types forms a separate face-centered cubic lattice. and geometry. MgO. positioned A zincblende unit cell like the four vertices of a regular tetrahedron. RbCl. or half the unit cell length a) in some rock-salt-structure crystals are: 2. KI. BeCu.The coordination number of each atom in the structure is 8: the central cation is coordinated to 8 anions on the corners of a cube as shown. this structure is more likely to be formed if the cation is somewhat smaller than the anion (a cation/anion radius ratio of 0. lead(II) nitrate. Each atom has six nearest Examples of compounds with this structure include sodium chloride itself. and similarly. the two atom types form two interpenetrating face-centered cubic lattices.[11] Other compounds showing rock salt like structure are LiF[12]. AgCl.[13][14] The Strukturbericht designation is "B3". LiBr. or 216.[10] and 3. one form of zinc sulfide (β-ZnS).2 Å for SnTe. or "225" (in the represent the two International Tables for Crystallography). The zincblende structure has tetrahedral coordination: Each atom's nearest neighbors consist of four atoms of the opposite type. LiI. However. Examples of compounds with this structure include zincblende itself. The interatomic distance (distance between cation and anion. KF[12]. CuBr.414 to 0. KCl.[15] The Zincblende structure (also written "zinc blende") is named after the mineral zincblende (sphalerite).3 × 10−10 m) for NaF. RbI. NaF[12].3 Å (2. The Strukturbericht types of atoms. Altogether. each anion is coordinated to 6 cations at the vertices of an octahedron. Other compounds showing caesium chloride like structure are CsBr. RbBr. high-temp RbCl. CsI. . CsF. one could view this structure as a face-centered cubic structure with secondary atoms in its octahedral holes. and a wide array of other binary compounds. with the two lattices interpenetrating so as to form a 3D checkerboard pattern. sulfides. Alternately. many compound semiconductors (such as gallium arsenide and cadmium telluride). Rock-salt structure A caesium chloride unit cell. The rock-salt crystal structure. MgCe. Other compounds showing zinc blende-like structure are α-AgI. selenides. The two The space group of the rock-salt (NaCl) structure is called colors of spheres Fm3m (in Hermann–Mauguin notation). tellurides". designation is "B1". The coordination number of each atom in this structure is 6: each cation is coordinated to 6 anions at the vertices of an octahedron. AgBr and ScN. and "many divalent metal oxides. RuAl and SrTl. PbS.732). AgZn. RbF. NaBr.[8] In the rock-salt or sodium chloride (halite) structure. BP and BAs.[7] More generally. AlCo. diamond. and similarly. along with neighbors. KBr. the central anion is coordinated to 8 cations on the corners of a cube.8 Å for NaCl. it differs from rock-salt structure in how the two lattices are positioned relative to one another. As in the rock-salt structure. Zincblende structure The space group of the Zincblende structure is called F43m (in Hermann–Mauguin notation). β-BN. but with alternating types of atoms at the different lattice sites. LiCl. NaI.

Norman pp. ISBN 0-08- 037941-9. Modern Theory of Solids (1940). W. Kao. Chem.nrl. doi:10.shtml). Butterworth-Heinemann.archive.chem.4797S). C. Crystal structure Weaire–Phelan structure Dislocations Reciprocal lattice References 1. Bibcode:1981JPhC.49 8.nrl.iucr. E. The CsCl (B2) Structure (http://cst-www. and the larger gas molecules are trapped in the polyhedral October p.archive..). 2008. The original discovery was in J.1. 14–16. Seitz.pdf) with vertical body P. L. doi:10. 18 (5): 926–932. (2006). Sundquist.ucl. Webmineral 4. ed. Weinheim. See also Atomium: building which is a model of a bcc unit cell. The Zincblende (B3) Structure (http://cst-www.nrl. 10. Faron.html) Archived (https://web.1016%2F0022-5088%2870%2990174-8) Kantorovich (2004). Mollard. R. 9. 3. at the Wayback Machine. University of London ( Vol. 22: 39–50. doi:10.a11_307 (h ttps://doi. 14 (32): 4797–4805. 213/http://cst-www. and carbon dioxide at low temperatures have a structure in which water molecules lie at the nodes of the Weaire–Phelan structure and are hydrogen bonded together..1107/97809553602060000001 (https://doi. ISBN 978-1-4020-4969-9. 7.htm) o3. 2005. Romano. Greenwood.1002%2F14356007. Gas hydrates formed by methane.. C. propane. C.1002/14356007. Birkbeck College. 13. Acta Crystallogr. "Fluorine 9230935/http://cst-www. J. "The ternary subsystem Sn4As3-SnAs-SnTe".Weaire–Phelan structure The Weaire–Phelan structure has Pm3n (223) symmetry. A. Wiley-VCH. Quantum Theory of the Solid State (https://books. X65002244). (1965).com/ J.html) 2008-10-19 at the Wayback Devilliers. "Electronic structure of the F centre in a sodium fluoride crystal". doi:10. Bernstein.14. Link (http://it.1088/0022-3719/14/32/016 (https://doi. D. Chemla. 569 (1946). 14. ISBN It is found as a crystal structure in chemistry where it is usually known as the "Type I clathrate structure".html) Archived (https://web. (1981). Abrahams. It has 3 orientations of stacked tetradecahedrons with pyritohedral cells in the gaps.. (1970). 6. 11.. Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed. 50/http://cst-www. Section Earnshaw. International Union of Crystallography.1107%2F97809553602060000001). International Tables for Crystallography (2006). E. Inorganic" (section 4) in Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry.4797S (http://adsabs. doi:10. Further reading . Cuer.1107/S0365110X65002244 ( Archived (https://web. Journal of the Less Common Metals. Prince.1016/0022-5088(70)90174-8 (https://doi. International Tables for Crystallography. S. Measurement of the sodium chloride structure factors".. Journal of Physics C: Solid State Physics. Alan (1997). 12. Springer. The NaCl (B1) Structure (http://cst-www.1088%2F0022-3719%2F14%2F32%2F016).nrl.harvard.a11_307). 14. J. Crystallography and Minerals Arranged by Crystal Form (http://webmineral. J.html) 2008-09-15 at the Wayback Machine. "Accuracy of an automatic diffractometer. 5. Phys.nrl. R..14.

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