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Homework Help: What's the difference between a superlattice, lattice and sublattice?

  1. Nov 1, 2006 #1
    What's the difference between a superlattice, lattice and sublattice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2006 #2


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    The Wikipedia definition is reasonable.

    Lattice - regular structural array (ordered structure) of atoms in a crystalline solid.

    Sublattice - refers to the lattice/array of atoms of a particular element in a compound or alloy. For example, the U or O sublattices in UO2. Ostensibly, it could refer to secondary phases (e.g. intermetallic compounds) in a primary phase (crystal structure).

    From the ASM's Metals Handbook Desk Edition - "A space lattice can be viewed as a three-dimensional network of straight lines. The intersections of the lines (called lattice points) represent locations in space for the same kind of atom or group of atoms of identical composition, arrangement, and orientation."

    Also from ASM's Handbook - "A crystal is a solid consisting of atoms or molecules arranged in a pattern that is repetitive in three dimensions. The arrangement of the atoms or molecules in the interior of a crystal is called its crystal structure. The unit cell of a crystal is the smallest pattern of arrangement that can be contained in a parallelepiped, the edges of which form the a, b, and c axes of the crystal. The three-dimensional aggregation of unit cells in the crystal forms a space lattice, or Bravais lattice."
  4. Nov 13, 2006 #3
    thank you very much!
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