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Crystal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement

of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst

al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.

For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another
"wrong"
diamond
n a few

common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the


type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t

o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]

Special properties from anisotropy


See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico

n, on Perseus Digital Library


Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
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Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]


Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.

The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki

nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl

uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a

re some general trends as follows.


Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography

Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.

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Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals

fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s

uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l

imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)

include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic

roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.

Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
Find more about
Crystal
at Wikipedia's sister projects

Search Wiktionary
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Textbooks from Wikibooks
Search Wikiversity
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
Authority control
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading

Crystal structure (microscopic)


Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,

new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism

is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.

A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti

on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.

See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
Find more about
Crystal
at Wikipedia's sister projects
Search Wiktionary
Definitions from Wiktionary
Search Commons Media from Commons
Search Wikinews News stories from Wikinews
Search Wikiquote
Quotations from Wikiquote
Search Wikisource
Source texts from Wikisource
Search Wikibooks
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Search Wikiversity
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
Authority control
NDL: 00565650
Categories: Crystals
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?????
Bn-lm-g
??????????
?????????? (???????????)?
?????????
Boarisch
Bosanski
Catal
Ce tina
Dansk
Deutsch
Eesti
????????
Espaol
Esperanto
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?????
Franais
Gaeilge
Galego

???????
???
???????
??????
Hrvatski
Ido
Bahasa Indonesia
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?????
?????
???????
???????
Kiswahili
Kreyl ayisyen
????????
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Lietuviu
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??????????
??????
?????
Bahasa Melayu
??????????
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??????
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???? ????
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.

A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a


toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non

crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l

arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.

Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o


r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran

dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.


Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe

r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi


ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp

hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
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Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals

4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal

is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros


copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif

estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i


s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.

Defects, impurities, and twinning


Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals

The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.

An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
Find more about
Crystal
at Wikipedia's sister projects
Search Wiktionary
Definitions from Wiktionary
Search Commons Media from Commons
Search Wikinews News stories from Wikinews
Search Wikiquote
Quotations from Wikiquote
Search Wikisource
Source texts from Wikisource
Search Wikibooks
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Search Wikiversity
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea

ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.


Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
Authority control
NDL: 00565650
Categories: Crystals
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )

Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu

ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp

le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.

Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the


"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).

Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth

Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
Find more about
Crystal
at Wikipedia's sister projects
Search Wiktionary
Definitions from Wiktionary
Search Commons Media from Commons
Search Wikinews News stories from Wikinews
Search Wikiquote
Quotations from Wikiquote
Search Wikisource
Source texts from Wikisource
Search Wikibooks
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Search Wikiversity
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
Authority control
NDL: 00565650
Categories: Crystals
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Aragons
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?????
Bn-lm-g
??????????
?????????? (???????????)?
?????????
Boarisch
Bosanski
Catal
Ce tina
Dansk
Deutsch
Eesti
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).


This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)

Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.

Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild

ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn


own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.

Twinned pyrite crystal group.


In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics

Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library

Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
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Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]


Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.

The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki

nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl

uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a

re some general trends as follows.


Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography

Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.

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Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography

11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.

The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.

Polymorphism and allotropy


Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However

, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe


cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi

th smooth, flat faces.


Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.

A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed


of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
Find more about
Crystal
at Wikipedia's sister projects
Search Wiktionary
Definitions from Wiktionary
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Search Wikiquote
Quotations from Wikiquote
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Source texts from Wikisource
Search Wikibooks
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Search Wikiversity
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
Authority control

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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.

For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).


A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the

phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature

Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.

Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.

In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan


ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th

e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.

Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,


page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
Find more about
Crystal
at Wikipedia's sister projects
Search Wiktionary
Definitions from Wiktionary
Search Commons Media from Commons
Search Wikinews News stories from Wikinews
Search Wikiquote
Quotations from Wikiquote
Search Wikisource
Source texts from Wikisource
Search Wikibooks
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Search Wikiversity
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
Authority control
NDL: 00565650
Categories: Crystals
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Ce tina
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????????
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallograp
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal growth is called

crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is derived from the Ancient


Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]
Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for

m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c

onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario

us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such

as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.

Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.

Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12


-29.
Further reading
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Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.
For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals

9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the
phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst

als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature
Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag

onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates


.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.
Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right

: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan
ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per

iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th
e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced

single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.
Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,
page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
Find more about
Crystal
at Wikipedia's sister projects
Search Wiktionary
Definitions from Wiktionary
Search Commons Media from Commons
Search Wikinews News stories from Wikinews
Search Wikiquote
Quotations from Wikiquote
Search Wikisource
Source texts from Wikisource
Search Wikibooks
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Search Wikiversity
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De

partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.


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Crystal
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Xtal" redirects here. For other uses, see Xtal (disambiguation).
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead glass.

For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).


A crystal of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangeme
nt; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites
" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangeme
nt even microscopically.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as a
toms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure,
forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macrosco
pic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consist
ing of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation
hy. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of
crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is
Greek word ???sta???? (krustallos), meaning both ice
(kruos), "icy cold, frost".[2][3]

is known as crystallograp
crystal growth is called
derived from the Ancient
and rock crystal ,[1] from ?????

Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most in
organic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals
fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metal
s, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, whe
re the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids
include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Contents [hide]
1
Crystal structure (microscopic)
2
Crystal faces and shapes
3
Occurrence in nature
3.1
Rocks
3.2
Ice
3.3
Organigenic crystals
4
Polymorphism and allotropy
5
Crystallization
6
Defects, impurities, and twinning
7
Chemical bonds
8
Quasicrystals
9
Special properties from anisotropy
10
Crystallography
11
Gallery
12
See also
13
References
14
Further reading
Crystal structure (microscopic)
Halite (table salt, NaCl): Microscopic and macroscopic
Halite crystal (microscopic)
Microscopic structure of a halite crystal. (Purple is sodium ion, green is chlor
ine ion.) There is cubic symmetry in the atoms' arrangement.
Halite crystal (Macroscopic )
Macroscopic (~16cm) halite crystal. The right-angles between crystal faces are d
ue to the cubic symmetry of the atoms' arrangement.
Main article: Crystal structure
The scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement
of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where th
e atoms form a periodic arrangement. (Quasicrystals are an exception, see below.
)
Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the

phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming
a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crysta
ls (called "crystallites" or "grains") is a true crystal with a periodic arrange
ment of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of
atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries. Most mac
roscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including almost all metals, cera
mics, ice, rocks, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline,
such as glass, are called amorphous solids, also called glassy, vitreous, or non
crystalline. These have no periodic order, even microscopically. There are disti
nct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, t
he process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but fo
rming a crystal does.
A crystal structure (an arrangement of atoms in a crystal) is characterized by i
ts unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific s
patial arrangement. The unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to for
m the crystal.
The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells
stack perfectly with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called
crystallographic space groups. These are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as
cubic crystal system (where the crystals may form cubes or rectangular boxes, s
uch as halite shown at right) or hexagonal crystal system (where the crystals ma
y form hexagons, such as ordinary water ice).
Crystal faces and shapes
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of
the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefor
e, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually,
the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as e
asily attach themselves.
Crystals are commonly recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with s
harp angles. These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal a crystal
is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macros
copic shape but the characteristic macroscopic shape is often present and easy to
see.
Euhedral crystals are those with obvious, well-formed flat faces. Anhedral cryst
als do not, usually because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid.
The flat faces (also called facets) of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a spec
ific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: They are
planes of relatively low Miller index.[4] This occurs because some surface orien
tations are more stable than others (lower surface energy). As a crystal grows,
new atoms attach easily to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but
less easily to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to
grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plan
e surfaces. (See diagram on right.)
One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measu
ring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, and using the
m to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the cryst
al structure (which restricts the possible facet orientations), the specific cry
stal chemistry and bonding (which may favor some facet types over others), and t
he conditions under which the crystal formed.
Occurrence in nature

Ice crystals.
Fossil shell with calcite crystals.
Rocks
By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are pa
rt of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks typically range in size from a
fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally l
arge crystals are occasionally found. As of 1999, the world's largest known natu
rally occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m
(59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb
).[5]
Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin t
o large masses of crystalline rock. The vast majority of igneous rocks are forme
d from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends primarily on the c
onditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled
very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized; but many ki
nds of lava were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly, and in this
latter group a small amount of amorphous or glassy matter is common. Other cryst
alline rocks, the metamorphic rocks such as marbles, mica-schists and quartzites
, are recrystallized. This means that they were at first fragmental rocks like l
imestone, shale and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor enti
rely in solution, but the high temperature and pressure conditions of metamorphi
sm have acted on them by erasing their original structures and inducing recrysta
llization in the solid state.[6]
Other rock crystals have formed out of precipitation from fluids, commonly water
, to form druses or quartz veins. The evaporites such as halite, gypsum and some
limestones have been deposited from aqueous solution, mostly owing to evaporati
on in arid climates.
Ice
Water-based ice in the form of snow, sea ice and glaciers is a very common manif
estation of crystalline or polycrystalline matter on Earth. A single snowflake i
s typically a single crystal, while an ice cube is a polycrystal.
Organigenic crystals
Many living organisms are able to produce crystals, for example calcite and arag
onite in the case of most molluscs or hydroxylapatite in the case of vertebrates
.
Polymorphism and allotropy
Main articles: Polymorphism (materials science) and Allotropy
The same group of atoms can often solidify in many different ways. Polymorphism
is the ability of a solid to exist in more than one crystal form. For example, w
ater ice is ordinarily found in the hexagonal form Ice Ih, but can also exist as
the cubic Ice Ic, the rhombohedral ice II, and many other forms. The different
polymorphs are usually called different phases.
In addition, the same atoms may be able to form noncrystalline phases. For examp
le, water can also form amorphous ice, while SiO2 can form both fused silica (an
amorphous glass) and quartz (a crystal). Likewise, if a substance can form crys
tals, it can also form polycrystals.
For pure chemical elements, polymorphism is known as allotropy. For example, dia
mond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon, while amorphous carbon is
a noncrystalline form. Polymorphs, despite having the same atoms, may have wild
ly different properties. For example, diamond is among the hardest substances kn
own, while graphite is so soft that it is used as a lubricant.

Polyamorphism is a similar phenomenon where the same atoms can exist in more tha
n one amorphous solid form.
Crystallization
Main articles: Crystallization and Crystal growth
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Crystallization is the process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid o
r from materials dissolved in a fluid. (More rarely, crystals may be deposited d
irectly from gas; see thin-film deposition and epitaxy.)
Crystallization is a complex and extensively-studied field, because depending on
the conditions, a single fluid can solidify into many different possible forms.
It can form a single crystal, perhaps with various possible phases, stoichiomet
ries, impurities, defects, and habits. Or, it can form a polycrystal, with vario
us possibilities for the size, arrangement, orientation, and phase of its grains
. The final form of the solid is determined by the conditions under which the fl
uid is being solidified, such as the chemistry of the fluid, the ambient pressur
e, the temperature, and the speed with which all these parameters are changing.
Specific industrial techniques to produce large single crystals (called boules)
include the Czochralski process and the Bridgman technique. Other less exotic me
thods of crystallization may be used, depending on the physical properties of th
e substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation, or simply solvent-ba
sed crystallization.
Large single crystals can be created by geological processes. For example, selen
ite crystals in excess of 10 meters are found in the Cave of the Crystals in Nai
ca, Mexico.[7] For more details on geological crystal formation, see above.
Crystals can also be formed by biological processes, see above. Conversely, some
organisms have special techniques to prevent crystallization from occurring, su
ch as antifreeze proteins.
Defects, impurities, and twinning
Main articles: Crystallographic defect, Impurity, Crystal twinning and Mosaicity
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right
: screw dislocation.
An ideal crystal has every atom in a perfect, exactly repeating pattern. However
, in reality, most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defe
cts, places where the crystal's pattern is interrupted. The types and structures
of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
A few examples of crystallographic defects include vacancy defects (an empty spa
ce where an atom should fit), interstitial defects (an extra atom squeezed in wh
ere it does not fit), and dislocations (see figure at right). Dislocations are e
specially important in materials science, because they help determine the mechan
ical strength of materials.
Another common type of crystallographic defect is an impurity, meaning that the
"wrong" type of atom is present in a crystal. For example, a perfect crystal of
diamond would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal might perhaps contai
n a few boron atoms as well. These boron impurities change the diamond's color t
o slightly blue. Likewise, the only difference between ruby and sapphire is the
type of impurities present in a corundum crystal.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.

In semiconductors, a special type of impurity, called a dopant, drastically chan


ges the crystal's electrical properties. Semiconductor devices, such as transist
ors, are made possible largely by putting different semiconductor dopants into d
ifferent places, in specific patterns.
Twinning is a phenomenon somewhere between a crystallographic defect and a grain
boundary. Like a grain boundary, a twin boundary has different crystal orientat
ions on its two sides. But unlike a grain boundary, the orientations are not ran
dom, but related in a specific, mirror-image way.
Mosaicity is a spread of crystal plane orientations. A mosaic crystal is suppose
d to consist of smaller crystalline units that are somewhat misaligned with resp
ect to each other.
Chemical bonds
In general, solids can be held together by various types of chemical bonds, such
as metallic bonds, ionic bonds, covalent bonds, van der Waals bonds, and others
. None of these are necessarily crystalline or non-crystalline. However, there a
re some general trends as follows.
Metals are almost always polycrystalline, though there are exceptions like amorp
hous metal and single-crystal metals. The latter are grown synthetically. (A mic
roscopically-small piece of metal may naturally form into a single crystal, but
larger pieces generally do not.) Ionically bonded solids are usually crystalline
or polycrystalline. In practice, large salt crystals can be created by solidifi
cation of a molten fluid, or by crystallization out of a solution. Covalently bo
nded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, quartz, and
graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the len
gths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization and sometimes polym
ers are completely amorphous. Weak van der Waals forces also help hold together
certain crystals, including graphite.
Quasicrystals
The material Holmium Magnesium Zinc (Ho Mg Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on th
e macroscopic shape of a dodecahedron. (Only a quasicrystal, not a normal crysta
l, can take this shape.) The edges are 2 mm long.
Main article: Quasicrystal
A quasicrystal consists of arrays of atoms that are ordered but not strictly per
iodic. They have many attributes in common with ordinary crystals, such as displ
aying a discrete pattern in x-ray diffraction, and the ability to form shapes wi
th smooth, flat faces.
Quasicrystals are most famous for their ability to show five-fold symmetry, whic
h is impossible for an ordinary periodic crystal (see crystallographic restricti
on theorem).
The International Union of Crystallography has redefined the term "crystal" to i
nclude both ordinary periodic crystals and quasicrystals ("any solid having an e
ssentially discrete diffraction diagram"[8]).
Quasicrystals, first discovered in 1982, are quite rare in practice. Only about
100 solids are known to form quasicrystals, compared to about 400,000 periodic c
rystals measured to date.[9] The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Da
n Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.[10]
Special properties from anisotropy
See also: Crystal optics
Crystals can have certain special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties
that glass and polycrystals normally cannot. These properties are related to th

e anisotropy of the crystal, i.e. the lack of rotational symmetry in its atomic
arrangement. One such property is the piezoelectric effect, where a voltage acro
ss the crystal can shrink or stretch it. Another is birefringence, where a doubl
e image appears when looking through a crystal. Moreover, various properties of
a crystal, including electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young
's modulus, may be different in different directions in a crystal. For example,
graphite crystals consist of a stack of sheets, and although each individual she
et is mechanically very strong, the sheets are rather loosely bound to each othe
r. Therefore, the mechanical strength of the material is quite different dependi
ng on the direction of stress.
Not all crystals have all of these properties. Conversely, these properties are
not quite exclusive to crystals. They can appear in glasses or polycrystals that
have been made anisotropic by working or stress for example, stress-induced biref
ringence.
Crystallography
Main article: Crystallography
Crystallography is the science of measuring the crystal structure (in other word
s, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal. One widely used crystallography techniq
ue is X-ray diffraction. Large numbers of known crystal structures are stored in
crystallographic databases.
Gallery
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purp
le fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced
single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed
of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crysta
l is up to 1.5 cm across.
See also
Atomic packing factor
Anticrystal
Cocrystal
Colloidal crystal
Crystal growth
Crystal oscillator
Liquid crystal
References
Jump up ^ ???sta????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexico
n, on Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ ?????, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on
Perseus Digital Library
Jump up ^ "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language". Kreus. 200
0.

Jump up ^ The surface science of metal oxides, by Victor E. Henrich, P. A. Cox,


page 28, google books link
Jump up ^ G. Cressey and I. F. Mercer, (1999) Crystals, London, Natural History
Museum, page 58
Jump up ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Petro
logy". Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Jump up ^ "Cave of Crystal Giants
National Geographic Magazine". nationalgeograp
hic.com.
Jump up ^ International Union of Crystallography (1992). "Report of the Executiv
e Committee for 1991". Acta Crystallogr. A 48 (6): 922. doi:10.1107/S01087673920
08328.
Jump up ^ Steurer W. (2004). "Twenty years of structure research on quasicrystal
s. Part I. Pentagonal, octagonal, decagonal and dodecagonal quasicrystals". Z. K
ristallogr. 219 (7 2004): 391 446. Bibcode:2004ZK....219..391S. doi:10.1524/zkri.219
.7.391.35643.
Jump up ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2011-12
-29.
Further reading
Find more about
Crystal
at Wikipedia's sister projects
Search Wiktionary
Definitions from Wiktionary
Search Commons Media from Commons
Search Wikinews News stories from Wikinews
Search Wikiquote
Quotations from Wikiquote
Search Wikisource
Source texts from Wikisource
Search Wikibooks
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Search Wikiversity
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Howard, J. Michael; Darcy Howard (Illustrator) (1998). "Introduction to Crystall
ography and Mineral Crystal Systems". Bob's Rock Shop. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Krassmann, Thomas (2005 2008). "The Giant Crystal Project". Krassmann. Retrieved 2
008-04-20.
Various authors (2007). "Teaching Pamphlets". Commission on Crystallographic Tea
ching. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
Various authors (2004). "Crystal Lattice Structures:Index by Space Group". U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, Center for Computational Materials Science. Retrieved
2008-04-20.
Various authors (2010). "Crystallography". Spanish National Research Council, De
partment of Crystallography. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
Authority control
NDL: 00565650
Categories: Crystals
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???????/tatara
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????
???????? / Uyghurche
Ti?ng Vi?t
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??
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