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What is Crystalline Solid, Definition, Properties, Characteristics, Examples?

Crystalline solids is a very interesting topic for chemistry students which later helps them to study more related terms & studies in which crystals formation, optics, etc involved.

What is Crystalline Solid?

Crystalline solids are solid having definite geometrical arrangements of atoms, ions, and molecules. In crystalline solids, a three-dimensional pattern forms and makes a crystal lattice structure. The crystalline solids are considered true solids. The majority of solids are crystalline solids and others are amorphous (Glassy solids), etc.

What are the examples of crystalline solids?

These are examples of crystalline solids,

  1. Diamonds
  2. Ruby
  3. Rock or table salt
  4. Sodium chloride,
  5. Quartz, etc.

What are the Properties and Characteristics of Crystalline solids?

Crystalline solids have the following properties and characteristics.

The atoms, ions, and molecules are arranged in highly ordered microscopic geometrical shapes.

what is crystalline solid

This is the crystal structure of NaCl(Sodium chloride). In this structure, the purple spheres are representing Na+, Sodium cations, and the Green spheres representing Cl, chloride anions.

Crystalline solids are bounded by flat surfaces with specific characteristic orientations.

Sharp melting point: The crystalline solids have a sharp melting point. In crystalline solids, the bonds between the various atoms are equally strong, and sometimes, like in some crystalline molecular solids, there are various forces that hold these crystals together. Some of these forces in molecular solids are dipole-dipole interaction, London dispersion forces, hydrogen bonding, π-π interaction, van der Waals forces, Quadrupole interaction, etc.

Composition: The crystalline solids have uniform chemical composition throughout.

The crystalline solids have the properties of Anisotropy.

The crystalline solids can be cleaved along with a definite shape or plane.

In crystalline solids, the orderly arrangements of atoms, ions, and molecules are repeated itself periodically over the entire crystal or extended over a large volume of the crystal. This is because all atoms, ions, and molecules are arranged in a definite geometrical order.

FAQ – Crystalline Solids

Why are crystalline solids anisotropic?

This is because some properties of crystalline solids (such as refractive index, electrical conductivity, etc) are different when they are measured in different directions.   

What is Anisotropy?

Anisotropy is the property of materials that is direction-dependent. It means that in a material (For Exp, In a single crystal) the values of physical and mechanical properties, such as refractive index, electrical and thermal conductivities, Young’s modulus, compressibility, etc are different when measured in different directions and axes.

When a ray of light is entered in a crystal and if we measured the refractive index of the ray,  then the measured refractive index of light is different for different directions.

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