# Primitive cell

A primitive cell is a unit cell built on the basis vectors of a primitive basis of the direct lattice, namely a crystallographic basis of the vector lattice **L** such that every lattice vector **t** of **L** may be obtained as an integral linear combination of the basis vectors, **a**, **b**, **c**.

It contains only one lattice point and its volume is equal to the triple scalar product (**a**, **b**, **c**).

*Non-primitive* bases are used conventionally to describe *centered lattices*. In that case, the unit cell is a multiple cell and it contains more than one lattice point. The multiplicity of the cell is given by the ratio of its volume to the volume of a primitive cell.

### See also

- Section 8.1 of
*International Tables of Crystallography, Volume A*