Worksheet: Unit Cells

In this worksheet, we will practice defining the unit cells of two- and three-dimensional crystals and other periodic structures.


How many complete NaCl units are found in the rock salt unit cell?


How many spheres/atoms are contained in a simple cubic unit cell?


The lattice structure of polonium metal is shown below.

How many polonium atoms does the unit cell contain?

  • A1
  • B8
  • C4
  • D2
  • E12

Which term best describes the structure of the polonium unit cell?

  • ABody-centred cubic
  • BMonoclinic
  • CSimple cubic
  • DHexagonal close-packed
  • EFace-centred cubic

What is the coordination number of the polonium atoms in this structure?

  • A12
  • B4
  • C6
  • D10
  • E8


In the unit cell of sodium chloride below, sodium ions are shown in purple and chloride ions in green.

How many ions does the unit cell contain?

Which term best describes the structure of the sodium chloride unit cell?

  • ABody-centred cubic
  • BFace-centred cubic
  • CHexagonal close-packed
  • DMonoclinic
  • ESimple cubic

How many sodium ions are in contact with each chloride ion?

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