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I'm trying to quickly learn basic crystallographic principles in 2D under pressure (it's me whose under pressure, not the lattice) so I'm checking many sources to find those that "speak to me" the best (including this excellent answer). Many sources (books, papers, researcher's websites) cite the "honeycomb lattice" as an example of a lattice which is non-Bravais in order to reinforce their explanation of what a Bravais lattice is.

  • some online examples where honeycomb is a "lattice" but not Bravais: slide 3 and here and slide 7

  • some online examples where the "lattice" designator is avoided: here and slide 20

  • ambiguous or noncommittal as to being a "lattice" slide 6

Briefly (I don't have the various texts with me right now to transcribe the paragraphs) it seems to me that a 2D Bravais lattice any set of points $m \vec a + n \vec b$ for all integers $m, n$.

The vertices of a honeycomb don't satisfy this because if you try to use that expression, 1/3 of the points are missing. If you want to use a Bravais lattice, you have to define a unit cell with two "atoms" in it.

Question: Can the vertices of a honeycomb or "honeycomb lattice" really be called a proper lattice (but just not a Bravais lattice), or should we really call it either a net or a regular complex apeirogons or something else, but not refer to it as a lattice?


From http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sunkai/teaching/Winter_2018/01302018.pdf (click for full size)

from www-personal.umich.edu/~sunkai/teaching/Winter_2018/01302018.pdf


The Five nets

From Elizabeth A. Wood's classic Vocabulary of Surface Crystallography Journal of Applied Physics 35, 1306 (1964); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1713610

In triperiodic structures the equivalent points form a three-dimensional lattice in which the space units are unit cells. In diperiodic structures the equivalent points form a two-dimensional net in which the area units are unit meshes. The fourteen Bravais space lattices are replaced, in the diperiodic case, by five nets, described in Table I and diagrammed in Fig. 2.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ After some thought, I think this is mostly a question of what you need to convey by using a particular term. If 'net' is commonly used in the community you are trying to engage, go for it. But I'm not sure there is a definitive answer to be had - use what somebody else will understand. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jul 23 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster sage advice for sure! Yes, the more sources I read, the more I begin to wonder if the term "lattice" doesn't have a universally accepted definition that includes or excludes the honeycomb vertices. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 23 at 22:19
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    $\begingroup$ Well, Bravais lattice is well defined. And the honeycomb is a lattice, just a Bravais lattice with a basis. Like diamond cubic... $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jul 23 at 22:34

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