How can I successfully grow high-quality KDP crystals?

In summary: Good luck!In summary, the initial crystal formed at the bottom of the glass which then dissolved when more potassium phosphate was added to the solution. It is possible that the crystal formed due to sound or vibration in the solution. Tips on growing a crystal with decent quality would be appreciated.
  • #1
Strange_matter
27
0
TL;DR Summary
I'm trying to grow a KDP crystal, but am having issues.
I've been trying to grow a KDP (potassium dihydrogen phosphate) crystal, but I'm having trouble growing anything. I've been adding potassium phosphate fertilizer to distilled water in a bottle I cleaned out and heating it to dissolve the chemicals, but so far haven't gotten much results. It's possible I'm not using enough chemicals. Oddly, one crystal did form at the bottom of the glass and nowhere else a few days ago, but when I moved the solution and dissolved more potassium phosphate the crystal dissolved again; possibly due to the solution still being hotter than I realized when I added the crystal. Can anyone explain the formation of the initial crystal? Could it be influenced by sound or vibration? Also tips on how to grow a crystal with decent quality would be appreciated.
 
Chemistry news on Phys.org
  • #2
First of all - check what the solubility at the experiment temperature is to make sure you have a saturated solution.
 
  • #3
Borek said:
First of all - check what the solubility at the experiment temperature is to make sure you have a saturated solution.
I may not be using enough fertilizer, so I can try adding more. I am still interested in how that initial crystal formed though. Do you have any idea? There was also something floating in the solution after the crystal formed, which may have been a small fragment of the ribbon I was using as a substrate to grow the crystal on. The crystal also seemed like it may have been growing in uneven, long pentagonal layers.
 
  • #4
Seeding and growing crystals is a bit of black magic. In general they most likely form on some already existing solids (can be just a random dust particle). Growing nice ones is not easy either, sometimes (depends on the substance) requires a lot of patience (growing them fast rarely produces nice ones) and controlling of the conditions (especially the temperature must be held as stable as possible).

Fertilizer is definitely not pure, it is probably just "mostly" KDP, which may make your attempts a bit more difficult.
 

Related to How can I successfully grow high-quality KDP crystals?

1. What are KDP crystals and why are they important in scientific research?

KDP (potassium dihydrogen phosphate) crystals are a type of inorganic crystal that are widely used in scientific research. They have unique properties, such as high optical quality and the ability to produce a strong electric field, which make them useful in a variety of applications, including laser technology and nonlinear optics.

2. What are some common problems encountered when growing KDP crystals?

One of the most common problems with growing KDP crystals is achieving the desired crystal size and shape. This can be affected by factors such as temperature, concentration of the solution, and the presence of impurities. Other issues may include crystal defects, uneven growth, and low crystal yield.

3. How can these problems be addressed and overcome?

To address problems with crystal size and shape, careful control of the growth conditions is essential. This may involve optimizing the temperature and concentration of the solution, as well as using techniques such as seeding to promote uniform crystal growth. To prevent defects, it is important to use high-quality starting materials and maintain a clean environment during the crystal growth process.

4. What techniques are commonly used for growing KDP crystals?

The most common technique for growing KDP crystals is the solution growth method, where a supersaturated solution of KDP is allowed to slowly evaporate, resulting in the growth of crystals. Other methods include the hydrothermal method, where crystals are grown under high pressure and temperature, and the flux method, where a flux material is used to control the crystal growth process.

5. What are some potential applications of KDP crystals in scientific research?

KDP crystals have a wide range of applications in scientific research. They are commonly used in laser technology, such as in high-power lasers for fusion experiments. They are also used in nonlinear optics, where they can be used to convert light from one wavelength to another. Other potential applications include electro-optic modulators, optical switches, and sensors.

Similar threads

Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Chemistry
Replies
7
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Biology and Chemistry Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • DIY Projects
Replies
2
Views
4K
Replies
3
Views
4K
  • Programming and Computer Science
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
5
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
2K
Replies
14
Views
3K
Back
Top