Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS)



Leon Brillouin (1889-1969) first introduced Brillouin Zones in his work on the general properties of periodic structures. The concept and construction of the zones can appear quite abstract, but this is largely a result of their wide range of useful applications.

Brillouin zones are polyhedra in reciprocal space in crystalline materials and are the geometrical equivalent of Wigner-Seitz cells in real space. Physically, Brillouin zone boundaries represent Bragg planes which reflect (diffract) waves having particular wave vectors so that they cause constructive interference.