Microscopic Structures

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Crystalline Structure


  • Basic, stable 3d structure
  • High melting and boiling points
  • Formed by natural solidification
  • Regular pattern
  • Cubic lattice

e.g. Sodium Chloride, NaCl

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Polycrystalline Structure


  • Lots of small crystals
  • Regular structure interrupted by grain boundaries
  • Vacancies- gaps in structure
  • Edge dislocation occurse

e.g. Silicon, Si, Copper, Cu, Brass

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Amorphous Structure

  • No regular order of atoms
  • Disorganised arrangement

e.g. glass, cement

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Polymeric Structure

  • Long chain polymers
  • Can be coiled or rotated to straighten out


e.g. polythene, polystyrene, rubber

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