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We are mostly surrounded by solids and we use them more often than liquids and gases. For different applications we need solids with widely different properties. These properties depend upon the nature of constituent particles and the binding forces operating between them. Therefore, study of the structure of solids is important. The correlation between structure and properties helps in discovering new solid materials with desired properties like high temperature superconductors, magnetic materials, biodegradable polymers for packaging, biocompliant solids for surgical implants, etc. From our earlier studies, we know that liquids and gases are called fluids because of their ability to flow. The fluidity in both of these states is due to the fact that the molecules are free to move about. On the contrary, the constituent particles in solids have fixed positions and can only oscillate about their mean positions. This explains the rigidity in solids. In crystalline solids, the constituent particles are arranged in regular patterns. In this Unit, we shall discuss different possible arrangements of particles resulting in several types of structures. The correlation between the nature of interactions within the constituent particles and several properties of solids will also be explored. How these properties get modified due to the structural imperfections or by the presence of impurities in minute amounts would also be discussed.
General Characteristics of Solid State
In Class XI you have learnt that matter can exist in three states namely, solid, liquid and gas. Under a given set of conditions of temperature and pressure, which of these would be the most stable state of a given substance depends upon the net effect of two opposing factors. Intermolecular forces tend to keep the molecules (or atoms or ions) closer, whereas thermal energy tends to keep them apart by making them move faster. At sufficiently low temperature, the thermal energy is low and intermolecular forces bring them so close that they cling to one another and occupy fixed positions. These can still oscillate about their mean positions and the substance exists in solid state. The following are the characteristic properties of the solid state:
(i) They have definite mass, volume and shape.
(ii) Intermolecular distances are short.
(iii) Intermolecular forces are strong.
(iv) Their constituent particles (atoms, molecules or ions) have fixed positions and can only oscillate about their mean positions.
(v) They are incompressible and rigid.
Amorphous and Crystalline Solids
Solids can be classified as crystalline or amorphous on the basis of the nature of order present in the arrangement of their constituent particles. A crystalline solid usually consists of a large number of small crystals, each of them having a definite characteristic geometrical shape. In a crystal, the arrangement of constituent particles (atoms, molecules or ions) is ordered. It has long range order which means that there is a regular pattern of arrangement of particles which repeats itself periodically over the entire crystal. Sodium chloride and quartz are typical examples of crystalline solids. An amorphous solid (Greek amorphos = no form) consists of particles
of irregular shape. The arrangement of constituent particles (atoms, molecules or ions) in such a solid has only short range order.
1.1 Define the term 'amorphous'. Give a few examples of amorphous solids.
1.2 What makes a glass different from a solid such as quartz? Under what conditions could quartz be converted into glass?
1.3 Classify each of the following solids as ionic, metallic, molecular, network (covalent) or amorphous.
(i) Tetra phosphorus decoxide (P4O10) (vii) Graphite
(ii) Ammonium phosphate (NH4)3PO4 (viii) Brass
(iii) SiC (ix) Rb
(iv) I2 (x) LiBr
(v) P4 (xi) Si
1.4 (i) What is meant by the term 'coordination number'?
(ii) What is the coordination number of atoms:
(a) in a cubic close-packed structure?
(b) in a body-centred cubic structure?
1.5 How can you determine the atomic mass of an unknown metal if you know its density and the dimension of its unit cell? Explain.
1.6 'Stability of a crystal is reflected in the magnitude of its melting points'.
1.7 How will you distinguish between the following pairs of terms:
(i) Hexagonal close-packing and cubic close-packing?
(ii) Crystal lattice and unit cell?
(iii) Tetrahedral void and octahedral void?
1.8 How many lattice points are there in one unit cell of each of the following lattice?
(i) Face-centred cubic
(ii) Face-centred tetragonal
(i) The basis of similarities and differences between metallic and ionic crystals.
(ii) Ionic solids are hard and brittle.
1.10 Calculate the efficiency of packing in case of a metal crystal for
(i) simple cubic
(ii) body-centred cubic
(iii) face-centred cubic (with the assumptions that atoms are touching each other).
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