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Material Science

Course No. ME202

Miller Indices
Popularized by William H. Miller, Miller indices is a notation
system in crystallography for
1. Planes (hkl) or family of planes {hkl}
2. Directions [hkl] or family of directions <hkl>
in crystal (Bravais) lattices. In particular, a family of lattice
planes is determined by three integers h, k, and , called
the Miller indices.
. These h, k and are basically rounded integers
determining the magnitudes in x, y and z coordinates.
. The number of indices will match with the dimension
of the lattice or the crystal.
E.g. in 1D there will be 1 index and 2D there will be two
indices etc.
ME202 Material Science

Miller Indices
In Materials Science it is important to have a
notation system for atomic planes since these
planes influence

Optical properties
Reactivity
Surface tension
Dislocations

ME202 Material Science

Miller indices of Planes (hkl)


Origin is chosen at the unit cell.
Intercepts are taken at the three respective
coordinates say c1, c2 & c3 along x, y & z directions
respectively.
Expressed in terms of axial units viz.
, , and

, , and

c1 = pa, c2 = qb and c3 = rc
If unit cell is cubical then
a = b = c=1 then

c1 = p, c2 = q and c3 = r
The ratio of the reciprocals is taken as
These reciprocals are finally converted into whole
numbers by multiplying by their LCM.

ME202 Material Science

Summary
1. Plane intercepts on the x, y and z-axes
are identified.
2. Intercepts are measured in terms of
dimensions of the unit cell.
3. Reciprocals of the fractional intercepts is
taken and then rounded.

,
p = Intercept of the plane on the x axis
q = Intercept of the plane on the y axis
r = Intercept of the plane on the z axis
ME202 Material Science

Procedure for calculation of Miller indices of Planes


(hkl)
Consider the plane in pink, which is one of an infinite
number of parallel plane each with a consistent distance
a away from the origin (purple planes)
The plane intersects the x-axis at point a. It runs parallel
along y and z axes.
Thus, this plane can be designated as (1a,,)

ME202 Material Science

Procedure for calculation of Miller indices of Planes


(hkl)
For cubical system a = 1
The pink plane can be designated as (1,,)
Likewise, the yellow plane can be designated as (,1,)
And the green plane can be written as (,,1)

ME202 Material Science

Procedure for calculation of Miller indices of Planes


(hkl)
Miller Indices are the reciprocals of the parameters of each
crystal face.
Thus:
Pink Face
= (1/1, 1/, 1/) = (100)
Green Face
= (1/, 1/, 1/1) = (001)
Yellow Face
= (1/, 1/1, 1/) = (010)

ME202 Material Science

Procedure for calculation of Miller indices of Planes


(hkl)

Intercepts 1
Plane (100)

Intercepts 1 1
Plane (110)

Intercepts 1 1 1
Plane (111)
(Octahedral plane)

ME202 Material Science

Miller indices of Planes (hkl)

ME202 Material Science

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Miller indices of Planes (hkl)

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Problem
Q. For cubical unit cell,
determine the Miller indices of
plane ABC. Origin O and
coordinate axes x, y and z are
shown in the unit cell in which
OP = OQ = OR = a. The plane
intercepts the x, y and z axes
in such a way that

OA =(2a/3) along x-axis

OB =(2a/5) along y-axis, and

OA =(a/3) along z-axis


ME202 Material Science

Answer - (hkl) = (356)

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Family of Planes {hkl}

1. Digits in the all these planes are


made up of 1, 0, 0.
2. When the planes are formed by
the different sequences of the
same digits, they are said to
belong to the same family.
3. They are designated as {hkl} in
general and for the mentioned case they
will be {100}.
4. Planes having Miller indices (123),
(231), (312), (321),
(), (), (), etc form the same
family of planes designated by
{123}

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Directions
Two dimensional lattice array

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Directions
Three dimensional lattice array

A vector r passing from the origin to a


lattice point can be written as:
where, a, b, c basic vectors and
miller indices [r1r2r3]
Fractions in [r1r2r3] are eliminated by
multiplying all components by their
common denominator.
e.g. [1, , ] will be expressed as
[432]
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Family of Directions
Its a set of directions related by symmetry operations
of the lattice.

Index Members in family for cubic


lattice
<100>
<110>
<111>
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NaCl Problem

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