Single crystals are materials in which the crystal lattice is continuous and unbroken to the edges of the sample, with no grain boundaries. The atoms occupy regular positions, which are repeated indefinitely in space. While polycrystals are made up of many crystal grains or crystallites of varying sizes and orientations, monocrystals consist of a single grain.
A large supply of high-quality monocrystals is of the utmost importance to the study of the intrinsic physical properties of materials. They can be synthesized by various techniques. The most widely used method of growing single crystals of intermetallic compounds is known as chemical vapor transport (CVT).
An alternative technique has been designed and successfully tried out by a team led by researchers at the University of São Paulo's Lorena School of Engineering (EEL-USP) in Brazil. An article on the study is published in the Journal of Crystal Growth.
To read more, click here.