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Unit Cell Ranking Tasks

By Tanya Faltens

Network for Computational Nanotechnology

Published on


This set of ranking tasks is designed to help the learner work with and understand some of the features of common structures: planar densities, atomic densities, atomic packing factor and coordination numbers of different planes and unit cells. There are four pages-- be sure to click on "Additional Materials" or the "Supporting Docs" tab to find them all.

I'd love to hear from you if you use this material in class! I have many more materials science teaching materials that I can share if there is interest. You can contact me through nanoHUB, or by sending email to


Tanya Faltens created this material when she taught Materials Science and Engineering courses at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is currently at Purdue University, where she is the Educational Content Creation Manager for the Network for Computational Nanotechnology.


Inspired by a workshop on Ranking Tasks by Shane Brown at the ASEE Zone IV Conference in Reno, NV, in 2010.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Tanya Faltens (2012), "Unit Cell Ranking Tasks,"

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