Blogging a crystal structure a day in 2014


Contributed by

Neeraj Sharma

A little out of the usual – a sneak peek at our take on the structure of a perovskite

Exciting times are ahead. Starting in National Science Week (16th August) will be the 'Crystals in the City' exhibition – a number of giant crystal structures located in cities around Australia. The first structure is complete, and we're as pleased as punch with it. We thought we'd show you all what it looks like.

So, what does it look like?

2014-06-03 14.29.42

This is our perovskite crystal structure! We’ve featured perovskites quite a lot on the blog (most recently on Sunday in celebration of the scientist who first discovered the structure, Helen Megaw).

Where can I see it?

It will be living at UNSW from next week (ground floor Chemical Sciences Building F10) and then moving to the café in the Centennial Parklands for all of August, including National Science Week. It will support the Park's fantastic event, Science in the Swamp, and during National Science Week we will have some demonstrations and 3D printed crystal structures for people to play with. So come on down to the Park in August! Did we mention that it lights up…

This structure was funded by the School of Chemistry and the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre at UNSW Australia.

Where did the structure come from?

The structure is based on the calcium titanate structure, but could equally represent a whole range of cubic perovskites. In fact, to represent the fact that many elements can substitute into the large "A" site in the centre … our structure flashes a range of lovely colours.

So watch this space. We have a website on the way, which will have details of where to find all the structures and videos about what they are. It’s all terribly exciting!

Who is involved?

Organisations currently providing funding to this project include UNSW Australia, ANSTO, the Australian Synchrotron, the Society of Australian and New Zealand Crystallographers (SCANZ), the University of Queensland and the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE). Affiliated organisations include the Centennial Parklands, Questacon, Powerhouse Museum, the Australian Academy of Sciences, the University of Sydney, Hazelhurst Gallery, Southern Cross University and more…

Tags: perovskite   inorganic