Solvothermal synthesis is a method of producing chemical compounds
Hydrothermal growth is conducted in steel pressure vessels called autoclaves (see figure). A supply of nutrient material, usually natural clear or milky quartz, is placed in the bottom half of the autoclave. In the top half, seed crystals, cut from either cultured (synthetic) or natural crystals are hung. The baffle, a metal plate with one or more holes cut in it to provide a constant and controlled opening, is placed between the upper and lower halves. An aqueous solution, usually an alkali metal hydroxide or carbonate solution, is added to the autoclave so that the solution occupies a set percentage of the total free volume of the vessel. The alkali metal compound acts as a mineraliser, increasing the solubility of the quartz in the solution, through the formation of soluble silicate complexes.
With a melting point of 1670 °C and high chemical resistance, ..
With a melting point of 1670 °C and high chemical resistance, quartz crystals would be very difficult to form by either melt or flux techniques. Since cooling through the Curie point at 573 ° usually produces twins, any technique for production of single crystals must be done below the Curie temperature. The process used is a solution growth technique called hydrothermal growth. This technique is very similar to the processes by which natural quartz crystals are formed.
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