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Illinois MATSE 280 Introduction to Engineering Materials, Lecture 3 Part 1: Structure of Metals and Ceramics

By Duane Douglas Johnson1, Omar N Sobh2

1. Iowa State University (formerly University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) 2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Structures of Metals and Ceramics


  • Define basic terms and give examples of each:
    • Lattice
    • Basis Atoms (Decorations or Motifs)
    • Crystal Structure
    • Unit Cell
    • Coordination Numbers
  • Describe hard-sphere packing and identify cell symmetry
    • Crystals density: the mass per volume (e.g. g/cm3)
    • Linear Density: the number of atoms per unit length (e.g. cm-1)
    • Planar Densities: the number of atoms per unit area (e.g. cm-2)

Learning Objective

  • Know and utilize definitions to describe structure and defects in various solid phases (crystal structures)
  • Compute densities for close-packed structures
  • Identify Symmetry of Cells
  • Specify directions and planes for crystals and be able to relate to characterization experiments


  • Atomic PACKING
  • Crystalline Solids: Unit Cells
  • Unit Cells and Unit Cell Vectors
  • Possible Crystal Classes
  • Unit Cells Types
  • The 14 Bravais Lattices!
  • Counting Number of Atoms Per Unit Cell
  • UNIT CELL - 3D Lattices
  • Coordination Number of a Given Atom
  • Unit Cells and Volume Packing
  • Atomic Packing Fraction for FCC
  • Basic Geometry for FCC
  • Atomic Packing Fraction for FCC
  • Summary APF for BCC
  • FCC Stacking
  • Comparing the FCC and HCP Planes Stacking
  • Packing Densities in Crystals: Lines Planes and Volumes
  • Linear Packing Density in FCC
  • Planar Packing Density in FCC
  • Theoretical Density
  • Characteristics of Selected Elements at 20 C

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Duane Douglas Johnson; Omar N Sobh (2008), "Illinois MATSE 280 Introduction to Engineering Materials, Lecture 3 Part 1: Structure of Metals and Ceramics,"

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