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Symmetry Relationships between Crystal StructuresApplications of Crystallographic Group Theory in Crystal Chemistry$
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Ulrich Müller

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669950.001.0001

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Crystal structures of molecular compounds

Crystal structures of molecular compounds

(p.185) 14 Crystal structures of molecular compounds
Symmetry Relationships between Crystal Structures

Ulrich Müller

Oxford University Press

Even though molecular packings often have low symmetries, they often can be regarded of derivatives of high-symmetry structures. Sometimes the molecules are arranged in a similar way as in a packing of spheres, but with reduced space-group symmetry so that the site symmetry of a molecule is compatible with its symmetry. The space group then is a corresponding subgroup of the space group of the sphere packing. Cage-like molecules like P4S3 adopt several subgroups of P63/mcm, all with packings like in a hexagonal closest packing of spheres. This sometimes even applies to molecules that are far from being spherical. Tetraphenylphosphonium salts crystallize in the space group P4/n if the anion has a fourfold rotation axis. If the symmetry of the anion is lower, the kind of packing often is kept, but the space group is a subgroup of P4/n.

Keywords:   molecular compounds, cage-like molecules, tetraphenylphosphonium salts

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