Classical crystal structures – Wurtzite

Over this weekend we’re putting up a series of ‘Classical’ crystal structures.  Today’s is wurtzite. 

What does it look like?

An animation of the wurtzite crystal strucutre by Pkassebaum

An animation of the wurtzite crystal strucutre by Pkassebaum

What is it?

Look familiar?  Yes this is the structure of wurtzite, the hexagonal form of zinc sulphide.  Naturally as a mineral wurtzite is less common that sphalerite, but as structure type occurs in a number of materials (ones that often also form the sphalerite structure too) such as zinc oxide, cadmium sulphide and silicon carbide, often semiconductors materials.  Another reason that this structure is very familiar is that is the same as the arrangement found in Lonsdaleite

Where did the structure come from?

The crystal structure of wurtzite is #1011195 in the open crystallography database.

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