29 votes

How can brass still be made even though the crystal structures of zinc and copper are not the same?

The $\ce{Cu-Zn}$ phase diagram is, to put it mildly, complicated. (source) See that wide area denoted $\alpha\rm (Cu)$? Now, when we add a little amount of one metal into the crystal lattice of ...
user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Contribution of Tetrahedral and Octahedral voids in HCP

I cannot find anywhere.. Couldn't find? You can figure it out on your own, with me, right now. Disclaimer: By "hexagonal unit cell" I assume you mean hexagonal prism, which comprises of 3 primitive ...
user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Why are there no cheap diamond equivalents?

There are four properties that make a diamond look like a diamond. I will compare them with the two best diamond simulants at the moment: cubic zirconia $\ce{ZrO2}$ - a special ("cubic") form of ...
user avatar
  • 5,004
20 votes
Accepted

Why are there only 7 types of unit cells and 14 types of Bravais lattices?

All quotes will be from Solid State Physics by Ashcroft and Mermin. Bravais Lattice: A fundamental concept in the description of any crystalline solid is that of the Bravais lattice, which ...
user avatar
  • 7,650
20 votes
Accepted

What makes Gorilla Glass more durable with each generation?

Are there other ways of "chemical strengthening" besides cationic exchange that can be utilized to strengthen the glass, keeping it flexible and less fragile at the same time? In a word: No. To ...
user avatar
  • 11.9k
17 votes

How to solidify sand

Based on your comments, it sounds like you have some sort of colored sand and you want to immobilize it. My suggestion would be some sort of polymer matrix. There are multiple possibilities, but one ...
user avatar
17 votes

Why are there no cheap diamond equivalents?

There are plenty of synthetic materials that would fall into the "cheap diamond equivalent" category. If we're only talking about the optical properties, cubic zirconia ($\ce{ZrO2}$) is probably the ...
user avatar
17 votes

How to calculate the height of an hcp lattice?

To calculate the height of a unit cell, consider a tetrahedral void in an hexagonal closed packing arrangement. It can be imagined as a 3 solid spheres touching each other and at the center-point, you ...
user avatar
  • 3,996
16 votes
Accepted

Will a solid object lose or gain atoms on standing over time (without being acted upon by external influences)?

Short answer: Yes they do. Firstly, you need to arrive at a proper definition for an "object". Why you ask? Because it would otherwise present philosophical problems which become apparent when we ...
user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

For a given packing (hcp, fcc, bcc), which ions occupy the corners and which occupy the faces or centers?

The actual answer is that it doesn't matter. For many of the 1:1 solid-state structures, either the cations or the anions may be considered to be at the vertices (i.e. corners) of the unit cell. By ...
user avatar
  • 65.8k
15 votes

Why is solid phase peptide synthesis limited to 70 amino acids?

The issue is one of yield. Each step has a certain yield percentage of yield, that the synthesizers will maximize as much as possible. However, given that it is fairly impossible to generate 100% ...
user avatar
15 votes

How are the number of tetrahedral voids twice the number of octahedral voids in a CCP structure?

To be precise, if in a close packed structure (ccp or fcc) there are $n$ atoms or ions then the number of octahedral voids and tetrahedral voids will be $n$ and $2n$ respectively. For example, there ...
user avatar
  • 1,078
14 votes

How can brass still be made even though the crystal structures of zinc and copper are not the same?

While molten, copper and zinc (and tin) are miscible. As the alloy cools and crystalizes, the metals do indeed separate, forming grain boundaries. These inclusions "pin" slippage between ...
user avatar
13 votes

Why is solid phase peptide synthesis limited to 70 amino acids?

You need to perform one reaction per amino acid to couple it to the previous one, and that reaction isn't 100% efficient. You always get a small amount of unreacted peptide, or some other side product....
user avatar
12 votes

How to solidify sand

Geologists prepare soil profiles for a living. The task is easy in principle - dig a pit, apply glue to the wall, then transfer the glued layer to a sheet of cloth. The practice is really difficult, ...
user avatar
12 votes

What does β stand for in β-potassium zirconate?

They signifies one polymorph (the beta polymorph) of barium zirconate. Allotropy is the property of some chemical elements or compounds to exist in two or more different forms, in the same physical ...
user avatar
  • 22.3k
11 votes

How does chromium help stainless steel prevent rusting?

TL;DR Note that the passive layer forms on the surface, there needn't be any change to lattice constant. Chromium needn't migrate , the Cr present on the surface will form the layer to protect it....
user avatar
  • 1,241
11 votes
Accepted

Why are X-rays used in crystallography?

There are a few reasons, but the most direct answer is that the wavelength of X-ray photons is on the order of the distance between atomic nuclei in solids, e.g. ~ 4 ångströms (bonds are roughly 1.5-2....
user avatar
  • 3,514
11 votes

What is "chemical pressure"?

External and internal pressure To study the effect of pressure on properties of a solid, is equivalently to learn how changes in volume transform physical parameters. For external pressure at ...
user avatar
10 votes

How to solidify sand

I upvoted the water idea, after all it is possible to build sandcastles over 0.2 m high with just water as a binder. I also think coring as mentioned in that answer is a good idea. I also upvoted the ...
user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Are all lattices Bravais lattices?

From Ashcroft and Mermin's Solid State Physics: A fundamental concept in the description of any crystalline solid is that of the Bravais lattice, which specifies the periodic array in which the ...
user avatar
  • 7,650
10 votes
Accepted

Yellow color of NaCl

An F-center (or any color center) is a point defect in the material that generates localized electronic states. When these states are in the band gap, they will result in strong peaks in optical ...
user avatar
  • 7,650
10 votes
Accepted

Materials with solid volume greater than liquid volume

There is a bunch of such materials; among the elemental compounds, they include silicon, gallium, germanium, and bismuth. As for the properties... well, it just so happens that their crystal structure ...
user avatar
10 votes

Why are p-type solar cells more prone to degradation in space than the n-type ones?

The space radiation environment is a quite complex subject. Generally speaking one needs to be careful about just where in space you are concerned about - near earth orbit (within the Van Allen Belts),...
user avatar
  • 7,650
9 votes
Accepted

What causes photovoltaic (solar) cells to degrade?

Why do they degrade? What exactly is reducing their efficiency? This link outlines several modes of solar panel degradation, and this report by the National Renewable Energy lab is a very detailed ...
user avatar
  • 10.1k
9 votes

Why do different impurities create different colors in diamonds?

If you had googled a little bit you would have found this wonderful resource. In a yellow diamond, a few carbon atoms per million have been replaced by nitrogen atoms, each containing five ...
user avatar
  • 17.3k
9 votes
Accepted

What is the actual reason behind PCl₅ existing as an ionic solid?

In the gas phase ions cannot be stabilized through solvation or lattice forces so ions are destabilized relative to non-ionic entities in the gas phase. $\ce{NaCl}$ is a case in point, in the gas ...
user avatar
  • 82k
9 votes

Distance between successive tetrahedral voids in FCC

As shown in figure, if we divide a FCC unit cell into 8 small cubes, then each small cube has 1 Tetrahedral void at its own body centre. Thus, there are total 8 Tetrahedral voids in one unit cell. It ...
user avatar
9 votes

Are molecular optimizations in quantum chemistry really in vacuum?

You raise an excellent question and the short answer is "yes, quantum chemistry calculations are intrinsically in vacuum". Approximate methods like semiempirical (AM1, PM6, PM7) and hybrid DFT ...
user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How can diamond have a fixed refractive index?

Your textbook is wrong. Some crystalline solids are optically anisotropic. Many crystalline solids are indeed optically isotropic in nature. In solids like this the light beam experiences the same ...
user avatar
  • 5,004

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible