Project Details Survey of Definitions and Use of Common Solid-State Chemistry Terminology

Project No.:
2015-053-1-200
Start Date:
18 December 2015
End Date:
Division Name:
Inorganic Chemistry Division
Division No.:
200

Objective

The ambiguous and diverse use of terms related to solid-state materials has led to confusion. For example, an alloy can be defined as “a homogeneous mixture of metals” or as combination of elements, “with only one of them a metal”. The objectives are to survey scientific literature and present definitions of terminology related to solid-state compounds.

These terms are:

  1. Alloy
  2. Intermetallic
  3. Liquid crystal
  4. Semi-crystal
  5. Ionic crystal
  6. Molecular crystal
  7. Covalent crystal

The task force will analyze the findings and propose definitions that unify the use of these terms based on chemical concepts like bonding to provide a comprehensive set of guidelines to the community.

Description

The strategic plan of IUPAC includes facilitation of international standardization and contribution to chemical education. This project will advance both of these long-range goals by clarifying commonly used terms in the solid-state chemistry community and providing educational materials related to these terms. These terms are often found in chemical literature and in educational materials, but their definitions are diverse and often are in conflict with each other. The terms to be investigated include:

  1. Alloy
  2. Intermetallic
  3. Crystal
  4. Semi-crystal
  5. Ionic crystal
  6. Molecular crystal
  7. Covalent crystal

For each term, the task group will survey the chemical literature for definitions and uses. A summary describing the history and use of these terms will be compiled into one report to be submitted to Pure and Applied Chemistry. Instructional materials regarding these terms will be developed in accord with educational theory and best teaching practices. The materials will be made available on the publicly available website – https://www.ionicviper.org/ – of Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC), which aims to enhance the inorganic chemistry experience for students and faculty members.

Progress

Page last update 13 Jan 2016