Brillouin zone
In mathematics and solid state physics, the first Brillouin zone is a uniquely defined primitive cell in reciprocal space. In the same way the Bravais lattice is divided up into Wigner–Seitz cells in the real lattice, the reciprocal lattice is broken up into Brillouin zones. The boundaries of this cell are given by planes related to points on the reciprocal lattice. The importance of the Brillouin zone stems from the Bloch wave description of waves in a periodic medium, in which it is found that the solutions can be completely characterized by their behavior in a single Brillouin zone.
The first Brillouin zone is the locus of points in reciprocal space that are closer to the origin of the reciprocal lattice than they are to any other reciprocal lattice points (see the derivation of the WignerSeitz cell). Another definition is as the set of points in kspace that can be reached from the origin without crossing any Bragg plane. Equivalently, this is the Voronoi cell around the origin of the reciprocal lattice.
There are also second, third, etc., Brillouin zones, corresponding to a sequence of disjoint regions (all with the same volume) at increasing distances from the origin, but these are used less frequently. As a result, the first Brillouin zone is often called simply the Brillouin zone. (In general, the nth Brillouin zone consists of the set of points that can be reached from the origin by crossing exactly n − 1 distinct Bragg planes.)
A related concept is that of the irreducible Brillouin zone, which is the first Brillouin zone reduced by all of the symmetries in the point group of the lattice (point group of the crystal).
The concept of a Brillouin zone was developed by Léon Brillouin (1889–1969), a French physicist.
Critical points
Several points of high symmetry are of special interest – these are called critical points.^{[1]}
Symbol  Description 

Γ  Center of the Brillouin zone 
Simple cube  
M  Center of an edge 
R  Corner point 
X  Center of a face 
Facecentered cubic  
K  Middle of an edge joining two hexagonal faces 
L  Center of a hexagonal face 
U  Middle of an edge joining a hexagonal and a square face 
W  Corner point 
X  Center of a square face 
Bodycentered cubic  
H  Corner point joining four edges 
N  Center of a face 
P  Corner point joining three edges 
Hexagonal  
A  Center of a hexagonal face 
H  Corner point 
K  Middle of an edge joining two rectangular faces 
L  Middle of an edge joining a hexagonal and a rectangular face 
M  Center of a rectangular face 
Other lattices have different types of highsymmetry points. They can be found in the illustrations below.
Triclinic lattice system TRI(4)




See below for the aflowlib.org standard.
Monoclinic lattice system MCL(1), MCLC(5)






See below for the aflowlib.org standard.
Orthorhombic lattice system ORC(1), ORCC(1), ORCI(1), ORCF(3)






See below for the aflowlib.org standard.
Tetragonal lattice system TET(1), BCT(2)



See below for the aflowlib.org standard.
Rhombohedral lattice system RHL(2)


See below for the aflowlib.org standard.
Hexagonal lattice system HEX(1)

See below for the aflowlib.org standard. More details in links below.
Cubic lattice system CUB(1), BCC(1), FCC(1)



See below for the aflowlib.org standard.
See also
References
 ↑ Ibach, Harald; Lüth, Hans (1996). SolidState Physics, An Introduction to Principles of Materials Science (2nd ed.). SpringerVerlag. ISBN 3540585737.
 Kittel, Charles (1996). Introduction to Solid State Physics. New York City: Wiley. ISBN 0471142867.
 Ashcroft, Neil W.; Mermin, N. David (1976). Solid State Physics. Orlando: Harcourt. ISBN 0030493463.
 Brillouin, Léon (1930). "Les électrons dans les métaux et le classement des ondes de de Broglie correspondantes". Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences. 191 (292).
 Setyawan, Wahyu; Curtarolo, Stefano (2010). "Highthroughput electronic band structure calculations: Challenges and tools". Comp. Mat. Sci. . 49 (2): 299–312. doi:10.1016/j.commatsci.2010.05.010.
External links
 Brillouin Zone simple lattice diagrams by Thayer Watkins
 Brillouin Zone 3d lattice diagrams by Technion.
 DoITPoMS Teaching and Learning Package "Brillouin Zones"
 Aflowlib.org consortium database (Duke University)
 AFLOW Standardization of VASP/QUANTUM ESPRESSO input files (Duke University)