Last evening had a nice chat with a friend of mine from the Materials Science Department.  At a certain point we  came to a discussion  about the crystal structure and  ways to  represent it.  As my counterpart was pointing out that it’s enough to give chemical composition and a space group to define the crystal structure, he stated that  Strukturbericht notation is superfluous and useless.

We had a long and interesting discussion, which I omit here. However, we came to an agreement that at least in the following phrase, using the Strukturbericht notation is good, as it gives the shortest and clearest explanation of what is going on:

Ni2MnAl exhibits structural transitions between  the L21B2A2 phases at 990 K and 1220 K, respectively.”

Strukturbericht is a classification of the crystal structures, where a codename is associated with a certain “well-known” crystal structure, exhibiting certain space group. E.g. B2 stands for  CsCl cell, Fm-3m space group. The problem of this classification is  loose categorization (e.g. A – pure elements, B – AB_2 compounds) and thus uninformative codenames (if I don’t know what is A2 or B2, I cannot deduce it.)

Another method, using codenames for the crystal structure, is Pearson symbol. However, it can lead to ambiguous names.

see also: wikimedia, close to comprehensive listStructure of Materials on Structurbericht


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