Quasicrystals and their approximants
Sven Hovmöller and Xiaodong Zou and Linus Hovmöller Zou
The Nobel Prize in chemistry 2011 was awarded to Daniel Shechtman for his discovery of quasicrystals; an AlMn alloy having 5-fold symmetry.
Quasicrystals (QC) containing the "forbidden" 5-, 8-, 10- and 12-fold symmetries present a
great challenge to the structural chemist. Different approaches may be used to solve
such structures. We have used X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy and electron
diffraction data combined with crystallographic image processing for solving approximants
to 10- and 12-fold QC. We have also constructed a model for an 8-fold quasi-crystal.
Approximants are chemically and structurally closely related to quasicrystals. They are very complicated
but have true classical crystal structures.
This work started as a collaboration with Prof. Kehsin Kuo’s group in the Beijing
Laboratory of Electron Microscopy (BLEM), Chinese Academy of Sciences.