Transport, Nucleation and Growth

  • A. W. Vere
Part of the Updates in Applied Physics and Electrical Technology book series (UAPE)


Most crystal growth processes involve the following steps:
  1. 1.

    Generation of reactants

  2. 2.

    Transport of reactants to the growth surface (in some cases via a “boundary layer” adjacent to the surface).

  3. 3

    Adsorption at the growth surface

  4. 4.

    Nucleation (irreversible location on a crystal lattice site)

  5. 5.

    Growth (advance of the liquid-solid or vapour-solid interface)

  6. 6.

    Removal of unwanted reaction products from the growth surface

These are illustrated schematically in Figure 2.1. The driving force for crystallisation is the supersaturation of the gas or liquid phase with respect to the component whose growth is required. Too little supersaturation will result in an unacceptably slow growth rate. At the other extreme of the supersaturation range the rate of condensation exceeds the rate at which the atoms or molecules can be incorporated onto the crystal lattice, leading to breakdown of the single-crystal interface and the onset of non-uniform cellular or dendritic growth (see Chapter 3). The object of good crystal growth is therefore to achieve and maintain a constant level of supersaturation within this range.


Growth Surface Linear Growth Rate Solutal Boundary Layer Ledge Growth Surface Diffusion Coefficient 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. Vere
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Signals and Radar EstablishmentGreat MalvernEngland

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