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Crystal Structures Of Molecular Compounds And Network Solids

The molecules that make up molecular compounds may not be approximately spherical in shape. Therefore, it is difficult to make detailed generalizations for molecular compounds. They exhibit many crystal structures that are dependent on the best packing possible for a specific molecular shape.

The most common network solids are diamond, graphite, and silicates. Diamond and graphite are two crystalline forms of carbon. In diamond, each carbon atom is covalently bonded to all four of its nearest neighbors in all directions throughout the network. The resulting arrangement of atoms gives a face-centered cubic unit cell. In graphite, some of the covalent bonds are double bonds, forcing the carbon atoms into a planar arrangement of fused six-membered rings, like a chicken-wire fence. Sheets of these fused rings of carbon lie stacked upon one another.

Silicates, present in sand, clays, minerals, rocks, and gems, are the most common solid inorganic materials. In the arrays, four oxygen atoms bond to one silicon atom to give repeating tetrahedral units. Silicate units can share oxygen atoms with adjacent units, giving chain silicates, sheet silicates, and framework silicates.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cosine to Cyano groupCrystal - Common Classes Of Crystalline Solids, Internal Structures Of Metallic Crystals, Common Internal Structures Of Crystals Of Ionic Solids