Delineate the atomic lattice are molecular lattice . The atoms of a crystal lattice are held together by atomic bonds, but the molecules in the molecular lattice are only held together by van der Waals forces (e.g. methane ), dipole-dipole forces (e.g. water ) and / or hydrogen bonds (e.g. ice ).
A borderline case is the carbon modification graphite , which consists of (theoretically) infinite layers of carbon atoms that are connected within the layer by atomic bonds. In contrast, only the van der Waals forces act between the layers. This means that the layers can be shifted easily and are suitable as lubricants .
Noble gases consist of atoms in both the gas and liquid phases . Nevertheless, the lattice of the solid phase is not referred to as an atomic lattice, but as a noble gas lattice ; it is only held together by the Van der Waals forces.