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Author: Subject: Growing quasicrystals at home?
angeltxilon
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[*] posted on 14-5-2024 at 06:42
Growing quasicrystals at home?


There are several stoichiometric formulas of alloys that can form quasicrystals.

Would it be possible, using a melting furnace and some thermally insulating container that cools the alloy very slowly, to manufacture and grow macroscopic-sized quasicrystals (visible to the naked eye) at home?

[Edited on 14-5-2024 by angeltxilon]
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Precipitates
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[*] posted on 14-5-2024 at 07:34


Potentially, depending on your set-up.

In this paper, macroscopic quasicrystals, the authors were able to produce dendrites of 3 mm size (probably just about visible to the naked eye) from an aluminium, copper and lithium (Al6CuLi3) mix heated to 850°C. They mentioned that the size of the crystals may have been improved if a larger container had been used to cast the alloy.


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Rainwater
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[*] posted on 14-5-2024 at 08:49


What type of time scall is required here? Hours, days?
crucible are consumable equipment, controlled atmosphere will prolong their usage, but not indeffentetly.
Edit. Read the paper.
5 hours to > 2 months.
I think the quenching may be a factor. Slower crystallization, bigger crystals
Finding a container that can hold molten lithium for 5 hours, thats a challange on a budget

[Edited on 14-5-2024 by Rainwater]




"You can't do that" - challenge accepted
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angeltxilon
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[*] posted on 14-5-2024 at 22:49


I wonder if there are more manageable alloys that do not require a controlled atmosphere (no reactive metals like lithium, or volatile metals like zinc).

I am especially interested in those that could crystallize into dodecahedra and similar polyhedra.

[Edited on 15-5-2024 by angeltxilon]
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Precipitates
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[*] posted on 15-5-2024 at 01:17


There are such beautiful crystals in this paper, high-temperature solution growth of intermetallic single crystals and quasicrystals, and, according to the authors:

"Growth of single crystals from metallic solutions requires very simple equipment: box and vertical tube furnaces, a glass bench for evacuating and
sealing quartz tubes, crucible materials and, in some cases, an arc melter for pre-alloying elements and for working with Ta."

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Morgan
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[*] posted on 15-5-2024 at 13:16


Quote: Originally posted by Precipitates  
There are such beautiful crystals in this paper, high-temperature solution growth of intermetallic single crystals and quasicrystals, and, according to the authors:

"Growth of single crystals from metallic solutions requires very simple equipment: box and vertical tube furnaces, a glass bench for evacuating and
sealing quartz tubes, crucible materials and, in some cases, an arc melter for pre-alloying elements and for working with Ta."



I liked this one a lot.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmium%E2%80%93magnesium%E2%8...
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[*] posted on 15-5-2024 at 18:04


I just wish it was a cm as oppose to mm grid!

The pessimist in me will say though - can't we just take any metal, cast it into a mould with that shape, and achieve the same (but bigger) result? :D

As indeed we've been doing since Roman times:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_dodecahedron

As evidenced by the rather alien dodecahedra that have been found.

But I realise that's probably not the point.
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