Solid state structure visualisation package


This package is designed to help you visualise and understand the 3 dimensional structures of some common solids.


Primarily the site has been designed to support courses given at the University of York that require an understanding of solid state structure types. In particular:


Solid State Structure (year 1)

Surface Chemistry (year 2)
Inorganic Materials Chemistry (year 3)
Solid State Chemistry (year 3)
Diffraction (year 3)


The structures on the following pages can all be visualised using a piece of software called Mercury. Double click on an icon and in a separate window a view of the structure should be obtained. A copy of Mercury can be obtained free of charge here


Mercury allows real time orientation using a mouse so you can view the structure from any angle.

 In addition you can:

Display the unit cell
Increase the number of atoms or unit cells shown
View Van der Vaals radii or 'ball and stick' representations
View planes defined by Miller Indices
View structures along a real or reciprocal lattice axis

‘Slice’ the structure between planes
Generate a powder X-ray diffraction pattern and identify diffracting planes



Comments or suggestions?

Please contact:


Richard Douthwaite

Department of Chemistry

University of York


York YO10 5DD

E mail: