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An element or compound is polytypic if it occurs in several structural modifications, each of which can be regarded as built up by stacking layers of (nearly) identical structure and composition, and if the modifications differ only in their stacking sequence. Polytypism is a special case of polymorphism: the two-dimensional translations within the layers are essentially preserved.
The complete definition is given in the Report of the International Union of Crystallography Ad-Hoc Committee on the Nomenclature of Disordered, Modulated and Polytype Structures: Acta Cryst. A40, 399-404(1984), "Nomenclature of Polytype Structures".
- Chapter 9.2 of International Tables of Crystallography, Volume C