Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University
of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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||Numerous mineral structures are based on the fact that
tetrahedra can be inscribed in a cube. If atoms have a face-centered
arrangement, we can join a corner atom to the three nearest face-centered
atoms to create a tetrahedron. Four similarly-oriented tetrahedra can be
created in the cube.
||There are two ways to orient tetrahedra in a face-centered
|Diamond is one mineral that employs this structure. There
are carbon atoms in a face-centered array (dark gray) plus an extra one
(light gray) at the center of each tetrahedron. At left the relationship
of the carbon atoms to the tetrahedra is shown. On the right the
carbon-carbon bonds are shown.
||At left is the diamond structure in a different orientation
showing the tetrahedral structure a bit more clearly. As above, carbon
atoms at the corners of the tetrahedra are dark gray, those in the middle
are light gray.
||At left is the diamond structure showing the carbon-carbon
bonding. Bonds closer to the viewer are shown thicker.
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Created 22 February, 2001, Last Update 22 February, 2001
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