Classical crystal structures – Caesium chloride

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

What does it look like?

The arrangement of caesium chlorite, the purple atoms are caesium and green chlorine.

The arrangement of caesium chlorite, the purple atoms are caesium and green chlorine.

What is it?

This is a binary structure that forms from elements that are generally a bit bigger than sodium and chlorine.  Caesium chloride is a ‘simple crystal structure’ like polonium, in contrast to the cubic close packed Sphalerite and hexagonal close packed wurtzite.  Each of the atoms in this structure has eight nearest neighbours.  There is a long list of binary compounds that take up this structure including beryliumm copper and zinc lanthanide.

Where did the structure come from?

The structure of caesium chloride is #9008789 in the open crystallography database.

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