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Advanced Structural Inorganic Chemistry$
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Wai-Kee Li, Gong-Du Zhou, and Thomas Mak

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216949

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216949.001.0001

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Symmetry in Crystals

Symmetry in Crystals

(p.300) 9 Symmetry in Crystals
Advanced Structural Inorganic Chemistry

Wai-Kee Li

Gong-Du Zhou

Thomas Chung Wai Mak

Oxford University Press

The symmetry properties of molecules were discussed in Chapter 6, and the corresponding properties of crystals are presented here. In contrast to discrete molecules, crystals have a lattice structure with three-dimensional periodicity. Hence, additional symmetry elements such as translations, screw axes, and glide planes, which are applicable to an infinitely extended system, need to be considered. This chapter introduces the concept and nomenclature of space groups and their application in describing the structures of crystals. Examples of crystal structures for selected space groups are provided. The chapter concludes with a section on the use of space group symmetry in the determination of crystal structure. In short, the chapter gives a succinct introduction to the symmetry of crystals.

Keywords:   asymmetric unit, Bravais lattices, crystal classes, equivalent positions, fractional coordinates, glide plane, Miller indices, Hermann-Mauguin notation, screw axis, space groups

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