KS8104 Hexagonal Close-Packed 2x2x2 Crystal Lattice
Hexagonal Close Packed (HCP) Structure
Another common close packed structure is the hexagonal close pack. The hexagonal structure of alternating layers is shifted so its atoms are aligned to the gaps of the preceding layer. The atoms from one layer nest themselves in the empty space between the atoms of the adjacent layer just like in the fcc structure. However, instead of being a cubic structure, the pattern is hexagonal. (See image below.) The difference between the HCP and FCC structure is discussed later in this section.
The hcp structure has three layers of atoms. In each the top and bottom layer, there are six atoms that arrange themselves in the shape of a hexagon and a seventh atom that sits in the middle of the hexagon. The middle layer has three atoms nestle in the triangular "grooves" of the top and bottom plane. Note that there are six of these "grooves" surrounding each atom in the hexagonal plane, but only three of them can be filled by atoms.
As shown in the middle image above, there are six atoms in the hcp unit cell. Each of the 12 atoms in the corners of the top and bottom layers contribute 1/6 atom to the unit cell, the two atoms in the center of the hexagon of both the top and bottom layers each contribute ½ atom and each of the three atom in the middle layer contribute 1 atom. The image on the right above attempts to show several hcp unit cells in a larger lattice.
The coordination number of the atoms in this structure is 12. There are six nearest neighbors in the same close packed layer, three in the layer above and three in the layer below. The packing factor is 0.74, which is the same as the fcc unit cell. The hcp structure is very common for elemental metals and some examples include beryllium, cadmium, magnesium, titanium, zinc and zirconium.
This model is hand made in the USA by Klinger Educational Products. This is a permanent structure. We only use grade A materials. The 1 inch balls are made of hard Maplewood that includes an enameled painted finish. Polished steel rods are used to connect the wooden balls together.
Hexagonal Closed Packed contains 35 - 1 inch balls.