Laves phase
Laves phases are intermetallic phases
Phase (matter)
In the physical sciences, a phase is a region of space , throughout which all physical properties of a material are essentially uniform. Examples of physical properties include density, index of refraction, and chemical composition...

 that have composition AB2 and are named for Fritz Laves
Fritz Laves

 who first described them. The phases are classified on the basis of geometry alone. There are three different classification classes: cubic
In geometry, a cube is a three-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces, facets or sides, with three meeting at each vertex. The cube can also be called a regular hexahedron and is one of the five Platonic solids. It is a special kind of square prism, of rectangular parallelepiped and...

, hexagonal MgZn2, and hexagonal MgNi2. The latter two classes are unique forms of the hexagonal arrangement, but share the same basic structure. In general, the A atoms are ordered as in diamond, hexagonal diamond, or a related structure, and the B atoms form tetrahedra around the A atoms for the AB2 structure. Laves phases are of particular interest in modern metallurgy research because of their abnormal physical and chemical properties. Many hypothetical or primitive applications have been developed. However, little practical knowledge has been elucidated from Laves phase study so far.
A characteristic feature is the almost perfect electrical conductivity, but they are not plastically deformable at room temperature.
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