Journal RSS feed. Sign up for new issue notifications. Protein and virus crystals commonly grown in the laboratory on earth have also been grown in a microgravity environment on the US Space Shuttle.
Two techniques for growth of the crystals were investigated: vapour diffusion and direct liquid-liquid diffusion. Crystals produced in microgravity, although generally isomorphous with earth-grown crystals, frequently show positive changes in habit, size and degree of perfection. X-ray diffusion analyses of crystals grown free from gravity usually show an improvement in the intensity-to-background ratio for all resolution ranges, and in some cases an extension of the resolution of the diffraction patterns to a higher limit.
Canadian Journal of Physics
Both findings suggest an overall improvement in the quality of macromolecular crystals grown in space. A possible source of this improvement is the formation of depletion zones around crystals growing in microgravity that remain stable in the absence of convection and thereby allow more self-regulated growth.
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Without crystals, electronic industry, photonic industry and fiber optic communications would not be imagined and crystals are unacknowledged pillars of technology. Many physical properties of materials are complicated by the effect of grain boundaries and single crystals are necessarily needed to find actual physical properties.
Particularly, our transport experiments for realizing surface states in topological insulators, visualizing quantum oscillations for establishing Fermiology etc require high quality single crystals.
Depending on their physical properties, suitable growth route can be chosen: flux growth, self-flux growth, Bridgman, chemical vapor transport or optical floating zone. Skip to navigation Press Enter. Skip to main content Press Enter. Fecher Functional Oxides - M.
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