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single crystal

any solid object in which an orderly three-dimensional arrangement of the atoms, ions, or molecules is repeated throughout the entire volume. Certain minerals, such as quartz and the gemstones, often occur as single crystals; synthetic single crystals, especially silicon and gallium arsenide, are used in solid-state electronic devices such as integrated circuits and light-emitting diodes (LEDs)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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