Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 43, Issue 13, pp 4573–4582 | Cite as

Structural and textural characterization of a novel spatially coherent crystalline nanocomposite obtained from a melt of KBr, RbCl, RbBr, KI, RbI, and KCl salts

  • A. E. Cordero-BorboaEmail author
  • R. R. Mijangos
  • L. Flores-Morales


Large crystal bulks, grown by the Czochralski technique from a melt prepared by mixing equal molar fractions of KBr, RbCl, RbBr, KI, RbI, and KCl salts, are characterized by X-ray diffractometry and atomic force microscopy. The bulk material consists of a highly textured aggregation of crystallites of two different face-centered-cubic-solid solutions with unit-cell sizes of 7.247 ± 0.001 and 6.536 ± 0.005 Å, in molar fractions of 1/3 and 2/3, respectively. These solutions are discussed to be the binary KI(34.4%):RbI(65.6%) and the quaternary KBr(42.7%):RbCl(33.2%):RbBr(8.1%)KCl(16.0%) mixed phases, respectively. Most of the crystallites, no matter the phase they belong to, are spatially coherent to each other. Freshly cleaved {100}-faces show surface domains, surrounded by canyons, and surface steps. These domains are plenty of knolls (1.8 ± 0.1 knolls/μm2) with a corresponding average knoll-profile full-width-at-half-maximum-value of 0.054 ± 0.003 μm, suggesting that the material is formed by a mass of individual nanometric grains. Micrometric particles, showing defined crystallographic habits, are immersed within the growths so that they keep in common with the growth matrix important crystallographic directions. The expected consequences of the observed texture on the physical properties of the material, as well as the structural origin of both the observed surface steps and the whitish visual appearance of the growths, are discussed.


RbCl Screw Dislocation Alkali Halide RbBr Surface Step 



The work is partially supported by the Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (project PAPIIT-IN117506-3). The authors wish to thank Prof. Héctor Riveros Rotge and Mr. Ricardo Guerrero for growing the crystals and Mr. R. Unda-Angeles for doing the digital treatment of the images.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. E. Cordero-Borboa
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. R. Mijangos
    • 2
  • L. Flores-Morales
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Materia Condensada, Instituto de Física Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico DFMexico
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación en FísicaUniversidad de SonoraSonoraMexico
  3. 3.Departamento de Física, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico DFMexico

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