Building things

Quick links:

See also

  • The ase.lattice module. The module contains functions for creating most common crystal structures with arbitrary orientation. The user can specify the desired Miller index along the three axes of the simulation, and the smallest periodic structure fulfilling this specification is created. Both bulk crystals and surfaces can be created.
  • The ase.cluster module. Useful for creating nanoparticles and clusters.
  • The ase.spacegroup module
  • The ase.geometry module


The G2-database of common molecules is available:, vacuum=None, **kwargs)[source]


>>> from import molecule
>>> atoms = molecule('H2O')

The list of available molecules is those from the ase.collections.g2 database:

>>> from ase.collections import g2
>>> g2.names
['PH3', 'P2', 'CH3CHO', 'H2COH', 'CS', 'OCHCHO', 'C3H9C', 'CH3COF',
 'CH3CH2OCH3', 'HCOOH', 'HCCl3', 'HOCl', 'H2', 'SH2', 'C2H2',
 'C4H4NH', 'CH3SCH3', 'SiH2_s3B1d', 'CH3SH', 'CH3CO', 'CO', 'ClF3',
 'SiH4', 'C2H6CHOH', 'CH2NHCH2', 'isobutene', 'HCO', 'bicyclobutane',
 'LiF', 'Si', 'C2H6', 'CN', 'ClNO', 'S', 'SiF4', 'H3CNH2',
 'methylenecyclopropane', 'CH3CH2OH', 'F', 'NaCl', 'CH3Cl',
 'CH3SiH3', 'AlF3', 'C2H3', 'ClF', 'PF3', 'PH2', 'CH3CN',
 'cyclobutene', 'CH3ONO', 'SiH3', 'C3H6_D3h', 'CO2', 'NO',
 'trans-butane', 'H2CCHCl', 'LiH', 'NH2', 'CH', 'CH2OCH2',
 'C6H6', 'CH3CONH2', 'cyclobutane', 'H2CCHCN', 'butadiene', 'C',
 'H2CO', 'CH3COOH', 'HCF3', 'CH3S', 'CS2', 'SiH2_s1A1d', 'C4H4S',
 'N2H4', 'OH', 'CH3OCH3', 'C5H5N', 'H2O', 'HCl', 'CH2_s1A1d',
 'CH3CH2SH', 'CH3NO2', 'Cl', 'Be', 'BCl3', 'C4H4O', 'Al', 'CH3O',
 'CH3OH', 'C3H7Cl', 'isobutane', 'Na', 'CCl4', 'CH3CH2O', 'H2CCHF',
 'C3H7', 'CH3', 'O3', 'P', 'C2H4', 'NCCN', 'S2', 'AlCl3', 'SiCl4',
 'SiO', 'C3H4_D2d', 'H', 'COF2', '2-butyne', 'C2H5', 'BF3', 'N2O',
 'F2O', 'SO2', 'H2CCl2', 'CF3CN', 'HCN', 'C2H6NH', 'OCS', 'B', 'ClO',
 'C3H8', 'HF', 'O2', 'SO', 'NH', 'C2F4', 'NF3', 'CH2_s3B1d', 'CH3CH2Cl',
 'CH3COCl', 'NH3', 'C3H9N', 'CF4', 'C3H6_Cs', 'Si2H6', 'HCOOCH3', 'O',
 'CCH', 'N', 'Si2', 'C2H6SO', 'C5H8', 'H2CF2', 'Li2', 'CH2SCH2', 'C2Cl4',
 'C3H4_C3v', 'CH3COCH3', 'F2', 'CH4', 'SH', 'H2CCO', 'CH3CH2NH2', 'Li',
 'N2', 'Cl2', 'H2O2', 'Na2', 'BeH', 'C3H4_C2v', 'NO2']

plus Be2, C7NH5, BDA, biphenyl and C60 (for historical reasons).

Common bulk crystals, crystalstructure=None, a=None, c=None, covera=None, u=None, orthorhombic=False, cubic=False)[source]

Creating bulk systems.

Crystal structure and lattice constant(s) will be guessed if not provided.

name: str
Chemical symbol or symbols as in ‘MgO’ or ‘NaCl’.
crystalstructure: str
Must be one of sc, fcc, bcc, hcp, diamond, zincblende, rocksalt, cesiumchloride, fluorite or wurtzite.
a: float
Lattice constant.
c: float
Lattice constant.
covera: float
c/a ratio used for hcp. Default is ideal ratio: sqrt(8/3).
u: float
Internal coordinate for Wurtzite structure.
orthorhombic: bool
Construct orthorhombic unit cell instead of primitive cell which is the default.
cubic: bool
Construct cubic unit cell if possible.


>>> from import bulk
>>> a1 = bulk('Cu', 'fcc', a=3.6)
>>> a2 = bulk('Cu', 'fcc', a=3.6, orthorhombic=True)
>>> a3 = bulk('Cu', 'fcc', a=3.6, cubic=True)
>>> a1.cell
array([[ 0. ,  1.8,  1.8],
       [ 1.8,  0. ,  1.8],
       [ 1.8,  1.8,  0. ]])
>>> a2.cell
array([[ 2.546,  0.   ,  0.   ],
       [ 0.   ,  2.546,  0.   ],
       [ 0.   ,  0.   ,  3.6  ]])
>>> a3.cell
array([[ 3.6,  0. ,  0. ],
       [ 0. ,  3.6,  0. ],
       [ 0. ,  0. ,  3.6]])

a1 a2 a3

Nanotubes, m, length=1, bond=1.42, symbol=’C’, verbose=False, vacuum=None)[source]


>>> from import nanotube
>>> cnt1 = nanotube(6, 0, length=4)
>>> cnt2 = nanotube(3, 3, length=6, bond=1.4, symbol='Si')

cnt1 cnt2

Graphene nanoribbons, m, type=’zigzag’, saturated=False, C_H=1.09, C_C=1.42, vacuum=None, magnetic=False, initial_mag=1.12, sheet=False, main_element=’C’, saturate_element=’H’)[source]

Create a graphene nanoribbon.

Creates a graphene nanoribbon in the x-z plane, with the nanoribbon running along the z axis.


n: int
The width of the nanoribbon.
m: int
The length of the nanoribbon.
type: str
The orientation of the ribbon. Must be either ‘zigzag’ or ‘armchair’.
saturated: bool
If true, hydrogen atoms are placed along the edge.
C_H: float
Carbon-hydrogen bond length. Default: 1.09 Angstrom.
C_C: float
Carbon-carbon bond length. Default: 1.42 Angstrom.
vacuum: None (default) or float
Amount of vacuum added to non-periodic directions, if present.
magnetic: bool
Make the edges magnetic.
initial_mag: float
Magnitude of magnetic moment if magnetic.
sheet: bool
If true, make an infinite sheet instead of a ribbon (default: False)


>>> from import graphene_nanoribbon
>>> gnr1 = graphene_nanoribbon(3, 4, type='armchair', saturated=True)
>>> gnr2 = graphene_nanoribbon(2, 6, type='zigzag', saturated=True,
...                            C_H=1.1, C_C=1.4, vacuum=6.0,
...                            magnetic=True, initial_mag=1.12)

gnr1 gnr2

ASE contains a number of modules for setting up atomic structures, mainly molecules, bulk crystals and surfaces. Some of these modules have overlapping functionality, but strike a different balance between flexibility and ease-of-use.