Stoichiometric Defects

Stoichiometric Defects

The compounds in which the number of positive and negative ions are exactly in the ratios indicated by their chemical formulae are called stoichiometric compounds. The defects do not disturb the stoichiometry (the ratio of numbers of positive and negative ions) are called stoichiometric defects. These are of following types,

(a) Interstitial defect: This type of defect is caused due to the presence of ions in the normally vacant interstitial sites in the crystals.           

(b) Schottky defect: This type of defect when equal number of cations and anions are missing from their lattice sites so that the electrical neutrality is maintained. This type of defect occurs in highly ionic compounds which have high co-ordination number and cations and anions of similar sizes. e.g., NaCl, KCl, CsCl and KBr etc.

(c) Frenkel defect: This type of defect arises when an ion is missing from its lattice site and occupies an interstitial position. The crystal as a whole remains electrically neutral because the number of anions and cations remain same. Since cations are usually smaller than anions, they occupy interstitial sites. This type of defect occurs in the compounds which have low co-ordination number and cations and anions of different sizes. e.g., ZnS, AgCl and AgI etc. Frenkel defect are not found in pure alkali metal halides because the cations due to larger size cannot get into the interstitial sites. In AgBr both Schottky and Frenkel defects occur simultaneously.

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