Definition of unit cell in English:

unit cell


  • The smallest group of atoms which has the overall symmetry of a crystal, and from which the entire lattice can be built up by repetition in three dimensions.

    • ‘Crystallographers describe the repeating unit of a crystal lattice, the unit cell, by the length of its edges and angles between them.’
    • ‘This term becomes significant when the wavelength of light approaches the size of a unit cell of the crystal, or equivalently when q approaches the size of the Brillouin zone.’
    • ‘Repeated translation along the edges of the unit cell can be used to derive the entire crystal lattice; in other words, the crystal lattice is the unit cell repeated many times in a periodic fashion.’
    • ‘The most common method to determine deviations from stoichiometry is the use of x-ray diffraction to measure the parameters of the lattice unit cell.’
    • ‘So in February and March she and Gosling were writing up their work about what they'd found about DNA having two chains, and the shape of the unit cell of the crystal of DNA.’