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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Crystals in Chemistry: The How and (Some of) the Why

Welcome to Crystals in Chemistry, Part II. In this installment, we'll talk about how crystals are made and a few of the things that chemists and physicists use them for. For the previous installment, in which we covered some basics about what crystals are and how they form defects, click here.
A few of Dr. David Chow's crystallization reactions in the Pecoraro lab.
For puzzling out crystallization conditions, quantity equals quality.

One of the most painstaking parts of being an inorganic chemist is crystallization. When it comes time in your research to crystallize a new compound so you can study its structure, that task becomes the dark beast lurking in your lab that you have to think about facing every day. Crystallizations are difficult because the conditions for growing high-quality crystals are not always obvious.