LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spinel crystal structure, molecular model. Spinel is the name for the mineral magnesium aluminium oxide (MgAl2O4). The unit cell (repeating crystal region) of the crystal is occupied by the outlined cube. A magnesium ion (blue) is each vertex of the cube, and there is another at the centre of each face. Within the cube, four magnesium ions occupy the centre of a tetrahedron (blue shaded regions) with an oxygen ion (grey) at each of its vertices. Aluminium ions (red) are located within an octahedron (red shaded regions) of oxygen ions. The spinel structure is taken by many combined metal oxides.
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