There are three different states of matter that are solid, liquid, and gaseous states. Solids possess two different states, namely, amorphous and crystalline. These forms or states of solids depend on the arrangement of the particles in a definite or indefinite geometry. Crystalline solids possess a regularly ordered array of particles that are held together with the help of uniform intermolecular forces. On the other hand, in the amorphous solids, the particles are not arranged in the form of regular arrays.
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However, there are certainly a few exceptions with respect to the particles which are a part of the solid material. Whether these particles are molecular, ionic, metallic, or covalent, they are held together by strong forces between them. When we talk about solids, we also talk about the position of the molecules, ions, or atoms that are fixed in a spatial arrangement. We do not talk about the motion of these particles, which are generally considered in the case of gases and liquids.
Classification of solids
The constituents of the solids are arranged in two different ways. This means that they either tend to form a regular and repetitive 3D structure which is known as a crystal lattice, which produces a crystalline solid, or they tend to aggregate without any specific order and produce an amorphous solid. There is a vast difference between crystalline and amorphous solids and here, we will learn about the comparison of amorphous vs. crystalline.
Crystalline solids consist of particles that are arranged in a three-dimensional manner. The intermolecular forces between them are equal. They are anisotropic and have a well-defined melting point as well. They are referred to as the true solids. Examples of crystalline solids are diamond, benzoic acid, etc. The application of diamond includes the making of beautiful jewellery, cutting of glass, etc.
Amorphous refers to being shapeless. Amorphous solids have an irregular arrangement of solid particles. The intermolecular forces between them are not equal. Also, the distance between every two particles tends to vary. They do not possess a defined geometric shape. Amorphous solids are also known as supercooled liquids and are isotropic. Examples of amorphous solids include glass, naphthalene, etc.
Applications of glass are as follows.
To better understand the difference between amorphous solids and crystalline solids better, let us take a look at the table given below. It showcases the crystalline and amorphous differences in detail.
Difference Between Crystalline Solid and Amorphous Solid
Let us look at the difference between crystalline and amorphous solids in detail.
Solids are defined by a three-dimensional arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules in which the components are largely fixed in their places. A crystalline solid is formed by arranging the components in a regular repeating three-dimensional array (a crystal lattice), whereas an amorphous solid is formed by arranging them more or less randomly. Crystalline solids have sharp melting points, well-defined edges and faces, and diffract x-rays. On the other side, the amorphous solids contain curved or uneven surfaces. And, they do not produce well-resolved x-ray diffraction patterns and melt across a wide range of temperatures.