Rhenium oxide forms a more complex and interesting structure.
In the unit cell below, rhenium (Re) is red and oxygen (O) is yellow.
Click on the unit cell above to view it rotating.
The unit cells stack to form the crystal thus:
Expanded Rhenium Oxide Lattice Tight Rhenium Oxide lattice

Horizontal  Vertical
Click on the images above to view the ReO3 structure rotating.

The oxygen ions at the corners of the expanded lattice have been made darker simply to help keep the structure in perspective. They are otherwise identical to all other oxygens in the lattice.

Particularly interesting are:

(1) In some orientations square boxes of oxygen atoms appear, filled with columns of rhenium.  These are easier to see in the open lattice.

(2) In other orientations similar, but empty square channels exist.   These can allow other atoms, molecules, or ions to migrate within the crystal.  This provides a mechanism for the crystal to act as a catalyst or for the crystal to change its composition without breaking down the lattice itself.

The ReO3 sublattices are not identical, as you can see below.



Click here to go to the next page.
 Structure of Crystals
Crystal Lattices
Unit Cells
From Unit Cell to Lattice
From Lattice to Unit Cell
Packing & Geometry
Simple Cubic Metals
Close Packed Structures
Body Centered Cubic
Cesium Chloride
Sodium Chloride
Rhenium Oxide
Niobium Oxide
Except as otherwise noted, all images, movies and VRMLs are owned and copyright  by
Dr. Barbara L. Sauls and Dr. Frederick C. Sauls  1998.
Contact the owners for individual permission to use.   barbarasauls@kings.edu