May 22, 2024

Strange pattern in inorganic compounds

When a team led by Nicola Marzari examined databases of different materials, they were amazed. Researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne found a pattern they couldn't explain. Nearly 60% of the approximately 80,000 electronic structures of inorganic compounds apparently follow the “rule of four”: the basic building blocks of their crystal structure consist of multiples of four atoms, a report said. Experts in April 2024 in the specialized magazine “npj Computational Materials”.