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Engineering Physics by S. Mani Naidu

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2.4 Unit cell and lattice parameters

Unit cells for most of the crystals are parallelopipeds or cubes having three sets of parallel faces. A unit cell is the basic structural unit or building block of the crystal. A unit cell is defined as the smallest parallelopiped volume in the crystal, which on repetition along the crystallographic axes gives the actual crystal structure or the smallest geometric figure, which on repetition in three-dimensional space, gives the actual crystal structure called a unit cell. The choice of a unit cell is not unique but it can be constructed in a number of ways; Fig. 2.3 shows different ways of representing unit cells in a two-dimensional lattice. A unit cell can be represented as ABCD or A′B′C′D′ or A″B″C″D″, ...

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