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A Layered View of Crystals

This page provides an introduction to visualizations of the atomic structure of several crystalline materials. Here we promote the perspective that crystals can be understood as ordered layers of atoms, as espoused by Prof. Kurt Sickafus in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee.

A crystal or crystalline solid is a material whose constituents, such as atoms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered structure at the nanoscale, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions.

Illustrations of the crystals highlighted by Dr. Sickafus can be found at following links:


Sickafus, K. E. et al. Layered Atom Arrangements in Complex Materials, A Technical Report from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, LA-14205, April 2006.

posted: April 2015.
updated: April 2015.