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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

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.

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

(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,,)

(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)

(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)

(hkl)

Intercepts 1

Plane (100)

Intercepts 1 1

Plane (110)

Intercepts 1 1 1

Plane (111)

(Octahedral plane)

10

11

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

ME202 Material Science

12

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}

13

Directions

Two dimensional lattice array

14

Directions

Three dimensional lattice array

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]

ME202 Material Science

15

Family of Directions

Its a set of directions related by symmetry operations

of the lattice.

lattice

<100>

<110>

<111>

ME202 Material Science

16

NaCl Problem

17

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