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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 12 Issue 3 (2007) pp 163-166

Illustrating Close-Packed and Graphite Structures with Paper Snowflake Cutouts

KaReisha F. Robinson, Phuong N. Nguyen, Nathan D. Applegren, Dean J. Campbell*

Bradley University, Peoria, IL 61625,
Received July 15, 2006. Accepted March 5, 2007.

Published online: 4 June 2007

Abstract. This paper describes the use of flat paper cutouts with six-fold symmetry for modeling layers of atoms within solid structures. Stacking the cutouts in specific ways illustrates how the layers of the atoms are stacked in the solids. Additionally, these cutouts can be used to demonstrate types of deformation in metals, atomic force microscopy, and carbon nanostructures. These paper lattices can be used on an overhead projector for demonstration to an entire class, or they can be constructed and studied on individual bases by students.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; physical chemistry; nanotechnology

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (131 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

The Supporting Materials contain templates for the flat paper lattices, as well as more extensive directions for the construction of the carbon nanostructures (849 KB).

Issue date: June 1, 2007

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