Lattice

Definition - What does Lattice mean?

A lattice is a series of points that are arranged in a distinct pattern. A crystal lattice structure is similar to a lattice, but instead of points, it is composed of a series of atoms. A crystal lattice is typically arranged in some sort of symmetrical geometric shape, with each vertex representing an atom.

Many solids possess a lattice structure because the total intermolecular energy is lowest when the atoms are arranged in these types of geometrical shapes.

Corrosionpedia explains Lattice

There are many different types of lattice formations that a crystal structure can have, including:

  • Face-centered cubic is a common lattice structure for copper, silver, platinum, nickel and aluminum.
  • Body-centered cubic is a common lattice structure for tantalum, iron, chromium and molybdenum.
  • Hexagonal close-packed lattice structures can be found in magnesium, cobalt, zinc and titanium.
  • Tetragonal lattice structure is found in some types of steel.

Steel is a material that can have many different types of crystal lattice structures. In some forms at room temperature, it has a body-centered cubic composition. When it is heated to a certain temperature, its crystal structure turns into a face-centered cubic form. If it is cooled rapidly from a heated state and if it has a high amount of carbon in its chemical composition then it will have a body-centered tetragonal crystal lattice structure.

Salts also have a lattice structure.

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