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Difference Between Schottky and Frenkel Defect for JEE Main 2025

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Last updated date: 24th May 2024
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What is Schottky and Frenkel Defect: Introduction

To explain Schottky and Frenkel defect: Schottky's defect is a point defect found in ionic solids where equal numbers of cations and anions are missing from their lattice sites, creating lattice vacancies. This defect is favored in compounds with similar-sized ions and leads to a decrease in crystal density. It occurs due to the balance between attractive and repulsive forces between ions. Whereas, Frenkel defect is another point defect in ionic solids where a cation moves from its lattice site to an interstitial position, creating a vacancy at the original site. This defect is common in compounds with a large difference in ion sizes. It helps maintain charge neutrality and reduces strain caused by size mismatch. In this article, we’ll grab more knowledge about Schottky and Frenkel defect in depth. 


Category:

JEE Main Difference Between

Content-Type:

Text, Images, Videos and PDF

Exam:

JEE Main

Topic Name:

Differences Between Schottky and Frenkel Defect

Academic Session:

2025

Medium:

English Medium

Subject:

Chemistry

Available Material:

Chapter-wise Difference Between Topics


Defining Schottky Defect

The Schottky defect is a type of point defect that occurs in ionic solids. In an ionic crystal lattice, which consists of positively and negatively charged ions, the Schottky defect arises when an equal number of cations and anions are missing from their respective lattice sites. This defect leads to the formation of lattice vacancies. The formation of Schottky defects can be explained by considering the balance between the attractive forces that hold the ions in their lattice positions and the repulsive forces between ions of the same charge. The absence of ions in the lattice results in a decrease in the density of the crystal, making it less compact. Schottky defects have several important implications. Firstly, they decrease the density of the crystal, which can affect its physical properties. Secondly, these defects create an excess of vacancies, which can enhance the diffusion of ions through the crystal lattice. Additionally, the presence of Schottky defects can influence the electrical conductivity of the material.


  • Vacancy Formation: Schottky defects involve the simultaneous absence of cations and anions from their regular lattice sites, resulting in the formation of lattice vacancies.

  • Stoichiometric Balance: Schottky defects maintain the stoichiometry of the crystal because an equal number of cations and anions are missing, thereby preserving the overall charge neutrality.

  • Equal Ion Removal: Schottky defects involve the removal of an equal number of cations and anions from the crystal lattice. This maintains the electrostatic balance and avoids the creation of charge imbalance within the crystal.

  • High Coordination Compounds: Schottky defects are more favored in compounds with high coordination numbers, where each ion is surrounded by a larger number of oppositely charged ions.


Defining Frenkel Defect

Frenkel defect is a type of point defect that occurs in ionic solids. In this defect, a cation is displaced from its regular lattice site and occupies an interstitial position within the crystal lattice, creating a vacancy at its original site. The formation of Frenkel defects is driven by the desire to maintain charge neutrality in the crystal while accommodating the smaller cation. By moving to an interstitial position, the cation reduces the strain caused by size mismatch and avoids the introduction of charge imbalance. Frenkel defects have several important implications. Firstly, they do not affect the overall stoichiometry of the crystal since the number of cations and anions remains the same. Secondly, Frenkel defects do not significantly alter the density of the crystal. However, they can affect ionic conductivity since the cations in interstitial positions are more mobile than those in regular lattice sites. This increased mobility of cations in Frenkel defects can contribute to the electrical conductivity of the material.


  • Charge Neutrality Preservation: Frenkel defects help maintain charge neutrality within the crystal by accommodating the smaller cation in an interstitial position. This avoids the introduction of charge imbalance.

  • Enhanced Ionic Conductivity: Frenkel defects can contribute to enhanced ionic conductivity in the crystal. The cations in interstitial positions have greater mobility, allowing for easier movement of ions within the lattice.

  • Stability at Lower Temperatures: Frenkel defects are more stable at lower temperatures due to the reduced thermal energy, which limits the movement of ions. This stability allows Frenkel defects to persist even at room temperature.

  • Non-Electrical Insulation: Frenkel defects can contribute to the overall electrical conductivity of the crystal due to the increased mobility of cations in interstitial positions.


Schottky and Frenkel Defect Difference

S.No

Category 

Schottky Defect 

Frenkel Defect 

1

Type of Defect

Simultaneous absence of cations and anions from their lattice sites, leading to vacancies

Displacement of a cation to an interstitial position, creating a vacancy at its original site

2

Ion Involvement

Both cations and anions are missing

Only cations are displaced

3

Crystal Density

Decreases due to vacancies

Remains relatively unchanged

4

Stability

Stable even at room temperature

Stable at lower temperatures

5

Commonly Observed in

Ionic compounds with similar-sized ions and high coordination numbers

Compounds with a large difference in cation and anion sizes, such as silver halides


While some similarities exist between the two, it's important to note that the properties, behavior, and applications of Schottky and Frenkel defect difference due to their ion involvement, stability, etc. 


Summary

Schottky defects involve the absence of both cations and anions from their regular lattice sites, resulting in lattice vacancies. Frenkel defects, on the other hand, occur when a cation moves to an interstitial site, leaving behind a vacancy at its original lattice position. Both defects are examples of point defects in ionic solids and can influence the physical and chemical properties of the materials in which they occur.

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FAQs on Difference Between Schottky and Frenkel Defect for JEE Main 2025

1. What type of compound exhibits Frenkel defect? 

Frenkel defects are commonly observed in compounds where there is a significant difference in size between the cation and anion. Specifically, compounds with small cations and relatively larger anions tend to exhibit Frenkel defects. Examples of compounds where Frenkel defects are found include silver halides (such as AgCl, AgBr, and AgI). In these compounds, the small Ag⁺ cation can easily move into interstitial positions, leaving behind a vacancy at its original lattice site.

2. How many vacancies does a Schottky defect create?

A Schottky defect in a crystal lattice creates an equal number of vacancies for cations and anions. Since Schottky defects involve the simultaneous absence of cations and anions from their respective lattice sites, the number of vacancies created for each type of ion is the same. This balanced absence of ions helps maintain charge neutrality within the crystal lattice. Therefore, a Schottky defect creates one vacancy for a cation and one vacancy for an anion per defect.

3. What are the examples of Frenkel's defect? 

Frenkel defects are commonly observed in compounds where there is a significant size difference between the cation and anion. Examples of compounds exhibiting Frenkel defects include silver halides such as AgCl, AgBr, and AgI. In these compounds, the small size of the silver cation (Ag⁺) allows it to easily move into interstitial positions within the crystal lattice, leaving behind vacancies at its original lattice sites. Similarly, copper(I) iodide (CuI) also exhibits Frenkel defects, where the smaller copper(I) cations (Cu⁺) occupy interstitial positions, creating vacancies. Frenkel defects in these compounds occur due to the size mismatch between the cation and anion, allowing for the movement of cations while maintaining charge neutrality and the overall structural integrity of the crystal lattice.

4. What is a defect in a crystal lattice?

Both Schottky and Frenkel defects disrupt the regular arrangement of atoms or ions in the crystal lattice and can affect the physical and chemical properties of the material. The specific type of defect that occurs depends on the nature of the compound and the conditions under which it is formed.

5. Where is Frenkel's defect found?

Frenkel defects are commonly found in ionic compounds where there is a significant difference in size between the cation and anion. Specifically, Frenkel defects are observed in compounds where the cation is much smaller than the anion. This size mismatch allows the cation to easily move into interstitial positions within the crystal lattice without causing significant disruption to the overall structure.

6. Mention the characteristics of Schottky and Frenkel defect? 

The characteristics of Schottky and Frenkel defect are:


Schottky Defect:

  • Involves the absence of an ion pair from its lattice site in a crystalline structure.

  • Occurs in ionic solids where cations and anions are of similar size.

  • Results in a decrease in density and electrical conductivity of the material.

  • Does not lead to any charge imbalance in the crystal.


Frenkel Defect:

  • Involves the displacement of an ion from its regular lattice site to an interstitial site.

  • Commonly observed in ionic solids where cations are much larger than anions.

  • Does not cause a significant change in the overall density of the material.

  • Can result in an increase in electrical conductivity due to the increased mobility of the displaced ion.