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Amorphous and crystalline solids

Take an example of a diamond and a few cotton candy. Are these substances identical, do you think so? They are dissimilar in so many aspects, and still, they both are solids. What’s the difference between is the arrangement and structure of the particles of amorphous and crystalline solids.

So, now let us learn about 2 solid types namely, Amorphous solids and Crystalline solids

Crystalline Solids

Crystalline Solids are the most ordinary solid types. They have features that we connect with solids. They are hard, have a fixed and definite shape, they are rigid, plus they are incompressible.

They usually have shapes in geometrical forms and consist of flat faces. And their examples are metals, diamonds, salt, etc.

To understand the concept of crystals, we should, first of all, understand their structure. In a crystalline solid, the particles’ arrangement is very systematically or in an orderly manner.

These items are organized in a repeating pattern arrangement of a 3-D network. This network is called the Crystal lattice and also known as the smallest unit of the crystal, which is a “Unit cell”.

If you look at the crystal X-ray, then this separate arrangement of unit cells is made visible to you clearly.

Spaces present between atoms are very low because of the action of high inter-molecular forces. It results in having high boiling and melting points in crystals.

Also, the intermolecular force is “even” in the entire structure. Crystals are having a “long-range order”, that means that atoms’ arrangement gets repeated at a huge distance.

Crystalline and Amorphous Solids

Amorphous Solids

Amorphous solids refer to the rigid or firm structures but these solids are deficient of well-defined and well-arranged shapes. They are devoid of geometric shape. Hence, they have a non-crystalline nature.

A very common example in the context of amorphous solid includes Glass. Other examples of amorphous solids are different polymers, thin films, plastics, gels.

The difference in the characteristics of solids is because of their molecules’ arrangement. Here, particles of matter don’t have the ability to produce a three-dimensional lattice structure which we can clearly see in solid substances.

In some amorphous solids which occurs naturally, there are impurities in them, which prevent the formation of such structure. Therefore, they have a short range order molecules’ arrangement.

The amorphous solid is broken into irregular pieces with uneven edges. And they are not having any different arrangement or any other molecule shape. Therefore, they can’t be recognized by their structure or shape as crystals.

 

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