Cutting Edge > Mineralogy > Visualizations > Mineral Structures

Mineral Structures

Compiled by John McDaris (SERC) and John Gleason at Montana State University.

These images and animations can be used in a lecture and/or lab setting to introduce students to silicate mineral structures.

Click here to browse the complete set of Visualization Collections.


jMol Mineral Structures- An interactive site for 3D images of crystal structures that can be manipulated to show Bravais lattice structures from any orientation, and can present visual models that demonstrate atomic positions, unit cells, bonds and crystallographic axes.

Introduction to Crystallography and Mineral Crystal Systems by Mike Howard, from Bob's Rock shop. This site provides images and descriptions of minerals and their structures, with clear explanations of the structures and crystal growing processes.

Teaching Mineralogy with Crystal Structure Databases and Visualization Software--On this site, you will find links to crystal structure databases, visualization software, tutorials, and worked examples of teaching activities. From the Integrating Research and Education Module at SERC.

Time-Lapse of Vitamin C Crystallization--This is a youtube video uploaded by Oliver Kim of Microscopy Magazine showing a time-lapse of Vitamin C crystallization, recorded through a cross-polarizing petrographic microscope.

Polymorphism and Catastrophic Transformation of Phases-This youtube video uploaded by Cristobal Viedma Molero of Complutense University in Madrid shows real-time transformation of potassium nitrate from less-stable trigonal phase to metastable rhomboidal phase initiated by contact of the rhomboidal crystal with the trigonal form.

Twinning in Dry Bischofite Single Crystal (Urai and Humphreys, 2000-This youtube clip from J.L. Urai and F.J. Humphreys' study on stress, strain and structure shows twinning during crystal formation in situ.

Caffeine: Anhydrous to Hydrate--This youtube video, taken by Dr Z.K. Nagy, shows the dissolution of anhydrous caffeine crystals and the crystallization of caffeine hydrate.

Lattice Structures part 1--A youtube video created by Mark McClure of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke demonstrates crystal lattice structures with computer-generated models. Narrated by Sally Vallabha.

Lattice Structures part 2--A second youtube video created by Mark McClure of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke further demonstrates crystal lattice structures with computer-generated models. Narrated by Sally Vallabha.