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Instructor: Dr. Rafiq Ahmad

Lecture 03: Crystalline structure of Metals

“Because without materials, there is no engineering.”

Atomic Packing Fraction

Depends on:
• Crystal structure.
• How “close” packed the atoms are.
• In simple close-packed structures with hard
sphere atoms, independent of atomic radius
Basic Geometry for FCC
Atomic Packing Fraction for FCC
• Face-Centered-Cubic (FCC) is the most efficient packing of hard-spheres of any lattice.
• Unit cell showing the full symmetry of the FCC arrangement : a = b =c, angles all 90°
FCC Stacking
• Unit cell showing the full symmetry of the HCP arrangement is hexagonal
• Hexagonal: a = b, c = 1.633a and angles α = β = 90°, γ = 120°
HCP Stacking
HCP Stacking
Comparing the FCC and HCP Planes Stacking

• Materials come in Crystalline and Non-crystalline Solids,

as well as Liquids/Amoprhous. Polycrystals are important.
•Crystal Structure can be defined by space lattice and basis
atoms (lattice decorations or motifs).
• Only 14 Bravais Lattices are possible. We focus only on FCC,
HCP, and BCC, I.e., the majority in the periodic table and help
determine most CERAMIC structures.
• Crystal types themselves can be described by their atomic
positions, planes and their atomic packing (linear, planar, and
volumetric packing fraction).
Allotropy and Polycrystalline
Polymorphism and Allotropy
Some materials may exist in more than one crystal structure, this is
called polymorphism.

If the change in structure is reversible, then the polymorphic

change is known as allotropy.

If the material is an elemental solid, it is called allotropy. An

example of allotropy is carbon, which can exist as diamond,
graphite, and amorphous carbon.

Iron crystallizes at 2800F BCC, then at 2554F FCC and 1670F

Polycrystalline Materials
A solid can be composed of many crystalline grains, not aligned
with each other. It is called polycrystalline.

The grains can be more or less aligned with respect to each other.
Where they meet is called a grain boundary.
Allotropy and Polycrystalline

• The prevailing crystal structure depends on both

the temperature and the external pressure.

• One familiar example is found in carbon: graphite is

the stable polymorph at ambient conditions, whereas
diamond is formed at extremely high pressures.
Points, Directions, and Planes in Terms of Unit Cell
POINT Coordinates
Crystallographic Directions
Example 02:
Symmetry Equivalent Directions
Families and Symmetry: Cubic Symmetry
Designating Lattice Planes
Why are planes in a lattice important?
(A) Determining crystal structure
* Diffraction methods measure the distance between parallel lattice planes of
• This information is used to determine the lattice parameters in a crystal.
• Diffraction methods also measure the angles between lattice planes.

(B) Plastic deformation

* Plastic deformation in metals occurs by the slip of atoms past each other in the
• This slip tends to occur preferentially along specific crystal-dependent planes.

(C) Transport Properties

* In certain materials, atomic structure in some planes causes the transport of
electrons and/or heat to be particularly rapid in that plane, and relatively slow not
in the plane.
• Example: Graphite: heat conduction is more in sp2-bonded plane.
• Example: YBa2Cu3O7 superconductors: Cu-O planes conduct pairs of
electrons (Cooper pairs) responsible for superconductivity, but perpendicular
+ Some lattice planes contain only Cu and O
How Do We Designate Lattice Planes?
How Do We Designate Lattice Planes?

* Note: If a plane does not intercept an axes (I.e., it is at ∞), then you get 0.
Assignment # 01

Submission due: Before Next class

Families of Lattice Planes
Comparing Different Crystallographic Planes
Crystallographic Planes in FCC: (100)
Crystallographic Planes in FCC: (110)
Crystallographic Planes in FCC: (111)