How to Grow X-Ray Quality Crystals

Written by Dr. Rene J. Lachicotte

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There are numerous factors during crystal growth which affect both the size and quality of the crystal. The most important in terms of organic compounds are purity, the solvent chosen for recrystallization, the number of nucleation sites, mechanical agitation to the system, and time.



"Crystal growing is an art." Not.

The techniques chosen depends less on "art" and "intuition" than on the chemical properties of the compound of interest:



Crystals and Crystal Growing, Alan Holden and Phylis Singer, Anchor Books-Doubleday, New York, 1960.

The Growth of Single Crystals, R. A. Laudise, Solid State Physical Electronic Series, Nick Holonyak, Jr. Editor, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1970.

For another excellent article on growing X-ray quality crystals, see Guide to Crystal Growth (Texas A&M).