Single Crystal Growth via Solid → Solid Transformation of Glass
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Fabrication of single crystals of materials by conventional methods, which decompose or undergo incongruent melting upon melting, has limited the development of advanced technologies. A solution to this challenge was demonstrated a few years ago using laser heating in a localized region to minimize undesirable nucleation, and then scanning the beam to obtain single crystal growth at the crystallization temperature of glass that was usually significantly below its melting temperature. An overview of the development of this new mode of crystal growth including some new results and insights is presented here. The discovery of rotating lattice single crystal as a novel form of meta-material and its characteristics in relation to process parameters are discussed in detail. Preliminary observations suggest strong correlation between the shape of growth front and rate of lattice rotation. Finally, challenges to single crystal growth via solid → solid transformation are exposed, which include the high interfacial stresses from density difference and the thermal expansion mismatch, of extremely steep T gradients due to highly localized (~μm) laser heating, and of the preferential diffusion of certain elements in the case of incongruent crystallization.
KeywordsSingle crystal growth Laser fabrication Glass Rotating lattice crystal Solid-state crystallization
This work has been supported by the Basic Energy Sciences Division, Department of Energy (Project DE-SC0005010). The authors thank Nobumichi Tamura for his help with the X-ray micro-diffraction studies over the years at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
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