Difference Between Crystalline and Amorphous

There are three states of matter namely solids, liquids and gases. Solids have two states namely amorphous and crystalline form. The particles are arranged with a definite or indefinite geometry. Let’s see how they are different from each other.

A solid-state is simply one of the many different states of matter. Solids have a specific mass, volume, and shape. Solids have distinct properties that distinguish them from liquids and gases. They can withstand any force that is applied to their surface. Compounds’ solid state is determined by the arrangement of constituent particles and the force acting between them.

The solid-state has the following distinguishing characteristics:

  • They are distinguished by their mass, volume, and shape.
  • The intermolecular distances are short.
  • The intermolecular forces are extremely powerful.
  • Atoms, molecules, and ions (constituent particles) have fixed positions in space and can only oscillate around their mean positions.
  • They are rigid and inflexible.

Based on the arrangement of constituent particles, solids are classified into two types:

  • Crystalline solid
  • Amorphous Solid

Crystalline solids:

In crystalline solids the particles are arranged in a 3 dimensional order. The particles have equal intermolecular forces. They have sharp melting point and are anisotropic. They are called true solids. Example: Benzoic acid, Diamond.

Application of diamond:

  • It is widely used in making beautiful jewellery

Amorphous solids:

Amorphous means shapeless. This word is derived from Greek. It has an irregular arrangement of solid particles. The intermolecular forces are not equal. Also, the distance between particles varies. They have an undefined geometric shape. They are also called supercooled liquids.They are isotropic. Example: Naphthalene, glass

Application of glass:

  • It is widely used in construction of building
  • It is also used for packaging cosmetics like cosmetics box and packing of food like food jar

To make you understand how crystalline and amorphous solids are different from each other, here are the some of the major differences between crystalline and amorphous:

Difference between Crystalline and Amorphous
Atoms are arranged in regular 3 dimension They do not have regular arrangement
Sharp melting point No particular melting point
Anisotropic Isotropic
True solid Pseudo solid
Symmetrical Unsymmetrical
More rigid Less rigid
Long range order Short range order
Example: Potassium nitrate, copper Example: Cellophane, polyvinyl chloride

These were some important differences between amorphous and crystalline solids. To know differences between other topics in chemistry you can register to BYJU’S or download our app for simple and interesting content. India’s largest k-12 learning app has top-notch teachers from across the nation with excellent teaching skills. Find notes, question papers for other subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Biology and various competitive exams as well. Enjoy learning with great experience. Learning is no more boring with BYJU’S.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What causes solids to be rigid?

All of the constituent particles in solids are strongly connected, and the bonds between the atoms are very strong, which is why solids are rigid.


What causes solids to have a specific volume?

Solids retain their volume due to the rigidity of their structure. The forces between particles are extremely strong. Furthermore, interparticle spaces are limited and limited in size. As a result, applying pressure to them has no effect on their volume.


When molten, ionic solids conduct electricity, but not when solid. Explain.

When molten, ionic solids conduct electricity because electrons are free and can move from one point to another, but in solid state, all constituent particles are strongly connected, so electrons cannot move to conduct electricity.


What is the significance of glass being classified as a supercooled liquid?

Glass is classified as a supercooled liquid because, despite being an amorphous solid, it has some of the properties of a liquid. It is slightly thicker at the bottom, for example. This is only possible if it flowed like liquid, albeit slowly.


Differentiate between crystalline and amorphous solids on the basis of melting point.

Crystalline solids have a high melting point and melt at a specific temperature. When heated, amorphous solids soften gradually over a temperature range and can be shaped into a variety of shapes.

Related Links:

Classification of solids States of matter
Test your knowledge on difference between crystalline and amorphous!


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.