Crystal chemistry


The main purpose is to provide sound scientific formation in Solid State Chemistry, complementing the formation in Crystallography and assuring in this way the instruments for the future understanding of Materials Science and Engineering

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Pedro Botelho Veiga


Weekly - 5

Total - 76

Teaching language



General knowledge of the curricular units lectured in the first semester.


Crystallography and Crystal Chemistry, F. Donald Bloss, Mineralogical Society of America (2000).

Crystallography and Crystal Defects, A. Kelly, K.M. Knowles, 2nd edition (2012). Wiley.

Solid State Chemistry. An Introduction, L. Smart & E. Moore (1992). Chapman & Hall.

Manual of Mineralogy. C. Klein, C. S. Hurlbut Jr. (1993). Wiley.

Structural Mineralogy, an introduction, J. Lima de Faria, Kluwer Academic Publishers (1994).

Teaching method

The course consists of theoretical-practical and practical classes where students contact with the basic principles of solid state chemistry, from crystallography to crystal chemistry, as well as manipulation of structural models and visit to structural characterization laboratories in CENIIMAT with demonstration character. Evaluation is continuous, by attending lectures and practical sessions. A mid-term test is done to waver part of the final exam. Students have access to a final exam where they can also do oral examination for classification recovery.


Evaluation method

Tests for exemption of final examination. Average between the two tests has to be minimum 10 for exam exemption.

Written essay is mandatory.

Final classification obtained by tests: 0,4*1st test+0,4*2nd test+0,2*written essay

The grade in the tests cannot be inferior to 7 for exam exemption

Final grade obtained by exam: 0,8*Exam+0,2*Written essay

Final written examination.

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, in contiuous evaluation, the homework assignemts are considered as part of the evaluation procedure.

Grades equal or above 15 may be subjected to an oral evaluation.

Subject matter

1. Crystallography. Crystalline structure. Point symmetry and physical properties. Crystallographic systems. Miller indices. Translational symmetry. Unit cell. Bravais lattices. Space groups. Description of crystalline structures. Generalities on the atomic nature and states of matter. Interatomica cohesion forces: ionic bonding, covalent bonding, metallic bonging and van der Waals bonding. Other types of binding in solids.

2. Atomic radii in solids. Coordination. Crystal Field, Molecular Orbitals and Pseudo-potentials  theories. Lattice enegy; polarization. The fundamental principles of Crystal Chemistry.

3. The concept of structure type. Crystal chemical formulas. Systematics of inorganic crystal structures. Characterization and brief description of common structure types amongst metals alloys, intermetallic compounds, oxides and other materials with technological applications.

4. Compositional variations in crystalline solids: stoichiometry and solid solutions.; order-disorder in crystals; iso- and hetero-compositional crystallographic shear. Morphotropism. Structural transformatuions in solids: the influence of pressure and temperature in relation to crystal structure; polymorphism. Difusion and exsolution. Technological implications of the structural control: topotatic transformations and epitatic deposits.

5. Relationships between crystal strucutre, chemical composition and physical properties - mechanical, thermic, optical, magnetic - plus transport properties. Crystallinity and internal dimensionallity in solids.


Programs where the course is taught: