Crystal Growth Methods - Brief Explanation

Various types of crystal growth methods are

Growth from Water Solution
Growth from Flux
Hydro Thermal Growth
Electrode Deposition
Gel Growth

Growth from Water Solution

This technique is used for soluble crystals like sugar, salt crystals for example NaCl, KCl, KBr are used. Their growth rates are very small. They have 5 mole percent solubility.

Nucleation is one such process. Liquid containing crystal solution solution having low viscosity is taken into a beaker. Crystal which has to be grown is taken in very small size which is called as seed crystal. We have to hang this crystal in the liquid in beaker. The molecules join crystal to form the crystal big in size.

Growth from Flux

This method is used for crystals which are not dissoluble. This technique uses oxide crystals/metal crystals. Crystals like quartz having high melting point of 1400 oC which is attained at higher energy are grown using this technique. For this they are combined with other crystals called as flux whose benefit is to reduce the melting point of crystals to form.

Advantages of this technique

a) Growth is at temperature well below the melting point
b) High quality crystals can be obtained
c) Doping with suitable materials could be done
d) Solid solution can be grown easily

Hydro thermal growth

This method is used for crystals whose melting point is very high. For instance, Al2O3 cannot be soluble in water. Normally Al2O3 dissolves in water at critical temperature of 353 ⁰C.

So when pressure is exerted on crystal then melting point of material decreases (of about 50000 pounds per sq. inch). So special devices such as autoclaves are used for this purpose.

conditions of growth in hydro thermal process:

i) The Temperature
ii) The Pressure
iii) The temperature difference between top and bottom ends of autoclave

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