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Lecture 5

Packing of atoms in
solids

Jayant Jain

Assistant Professor,
Department of Applied Mechanics,
IIT Delhi, Hauz Khas, 110016

Recap
Atomic packing in crystalline solids such as metals
Crystal classes: FCC, BCC and HCP
Key characteristics of these classes
Whenever we pack atoms no matter how densely we pack
we ended up with open spaces/voids
Voids very imp: ceramics, second/third type of atom sits
into that void

Voids in crystals
Formation of some special type of voids such as
tetrahedral and octahedral voids are common
when we pack atoms
Tetrahedral

Courtesy: A. Subramaniam

TV

Octahedral OV

How many octahedral and tetrahedral voids per unit cell


in FCC crystal
FCC voids

Position

Voids / cell

Voids / atom

Tetrahedral

way from each vertex of the cube


along body diagonal <111>
((, , ))

Octahedral

Body centre: 1 (, , )
Edge centre: (12/4 = 3) (, 0, 0)

Octahedral void FCC

Ceramic Crystals
Technical ceramics off the hardest, most refractory
materials of engineering

Structure of ceramics often have atoms arranged in a BCC, FCC, or HCP


structure with a second and/or third type of atom inserted into the
Interstitial sites of the first
Materials: engineering, science, processing and design, 2nd edition Copyright (c)2010 Michael Ashby, Hugh Shercliff, David
Cebon

Diamond Cubic (DC) Structure


Unit Cell of Diamond

Essentially an FCC lattice with an


additional atom in each of its
tetrahedral interstices

Materials: engineering, science, processing and design, 2nd edition Copyright (c)2010 Michael Ashby, Hugh Shercliff,
David Cebon

Silicon carbide (SiC) Structure


Structure of silicon carbide; same DC
structure as diamond with
different chemical composition

Materials: engineering, science, processing and design, 2nd edition Copyright (c)2010 Michael Ashby, Hugh Shercliff, David
Cebon

Oxides with the Rocksalt


(Halite) Structure
Have the formula MO, where M
is a metal ion
The oxygen packs in an FCC
structure and metal atoms
occupy the octahedral holes
Figure GL1.13

Materials: engineering, science, processing and design, 2nd edition Copyright (c)2010 Michael Ashby, Hugh Shercliff, David
Cebon

Oxides with a Corundum


Structure
M2O3 formula with M
being metal ions
Oxygen atoms close-packed in an HCP
structure with metal atoms
occupying 2/3 of octahedral holes
Figure GL1.14

Materials: engineering, science, processing and design, 2nd edition Copyright (c)2010 Michael Ashby, Hugh Shercliff, David
Cebon

Oxides with the Fluorite


Structure
Formula of MO2, but unlike in earlier
oxides, the metal atoms (M) are
bigger than the oxygen atoms
The metal atoms form a close-packed
FCC structure and the oxygen atoms
fill the tetrahedral insterstices

Materials: engineering, science, processing and design, 2nd edition Copyright (c)2010 Michael Ashby, Hugh Shercliff, David
Cebon

Problems