A polyiamond (also polyamond or simply iamond) is a polyform in which the base form is an equilateral triangle. The word polyiamond is a back-formation from diamond, because this word is often used to describe the shape of a pair of equilateral triangles placed base to base, and the initial "di-" looked like a Greek prefix meaning "two-".
The basic combinatorial question is how many different polyiamonds with a given number of triangles exist. If mirror images are considered identical, the number of possible n-iamonds for n = 1, 2, 3, … is (sequence A000577 in OEIS):
- 1, 1, 1, 3, 4, 12, 24, 66, 160, …
As with polyominoes, fixed polyiamonds (where different orientations count as distinct) and one-sided polyiamonds (where mirror images count as distinct but rotations count as identical) may also be defined. The number of free polyiamonds with holes is given by A070764; the number of free polyiamonds without holes is given by A070765; the number of fixed polyiamonds is given by A001420; the number of one-sided polyiamonds is given by A006534.
|Name||Number of Forms||Forms|
Possible symmetries are mirror symmetry, 2-, 3-, and 6-fold rotational symmetry, and each combined with mirror symmetry.
2-fold rotational symmetry with and without mirror symmetry requires at least 2 and 4 triangles, respectively. 6-fold rotational symmetry with and without mirror symmetry requires at least 6 and 18 triangles, respectively. Asymmetry requires at least 5 triangles. 3-fold rotational symmetry without mirror symmetry requires at least 7 triangles.
In the case of only mirror symmetry we can distinguish having the symmetry axis aligned with the grid or rotated 30° (requires at least 4 and 3 triangles, respectively); ditto for 3-fold rotational symmetry, combined with mirror symmetry (requires at least 18 and 1 triangles, respectively).
|Asymmetric||Mirror, 0°||Mirror, 30°||Rotational, 2-Fold||Mirror, 2-Fold|
|Rotational, 3-Fold||Mirror, 0°, 3-fold||Mirror, 30°, 3-fold||Rotational, 6-Fold||Mirror, 6-Fold|
Like polyominoes, but unlike polyhexes, polyiamonds have three-dimensional counterparts, formed by aggregating tetrahedra. However, polytetrahedra do not tile 3-space in the way polyiamonds can tile 2-space.