In situ observation of surface phenomena on {100} and {101} potassium dihydrogen phosphate crystals

B. Dam*, W. J.P. van Enckevort

*Corresponding author for this work

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Surface patterns on the {100} and {101} faces of KH2PO4 (KDP) crystals growing in a stagnant aqueous solution were studied by in situ interference-contrast reflection microscopy. The contrast of the image registered by a video camera was enhanced to such an extent that steps as low as 80Å could be observed. The effect of supersaturation and Cr3+ impurity addition on the behaviour of steps and the shape of growth hillocks was studied and it appeared that crystal growth is a complicated, non-steady state process. On {100} the effect of volume diffusion of the growth units could be positively identified. Also it was found that at low supersaturation the surface morphology is similar to the pattern observed at higher supersaturation after Cr3+ addition. Below 2% supersaturation even a blocking of step growth occured. This suggests that metal or other impurities play a significant role in the crystal growth process at low supersaturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-316
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 1984

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are indebted to Prof. Dr. P. Ben-nema and Dr. J.P. van der Eerden for fruitful discussions and critical reading of the manuscript. Also we thank J.W. van Kessel for technical assistance and E. Polman for experimental contributions. B. Darn acknowledges financial support from the Netherlands Foundation for Pure Research (ZWO/SON).


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