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The micro-pulling-down (?-PD) method is a crystal growth technique based on continuous transport of the melted substance through micro-channel(s) made in a crucible bottom. Continuous solidification of the melt is progressed on a liquid/solid interface positioned under the crucible. In a steady state, both the melt and the crystal are pulled-down with a constant (but generally different) velocity.

Many different types of crystal are grown by this technique, including Y3Al5O12, Si, Si-Ge, LiNbO3, ?-Al2O3, Y2O3, Sc2O3, LiF, CaF2, BaF2, etc.[1][2]

Crystal growth routine

Standard routine procedure used in the growth of most of ?-PD crystals is well developed. The general stages of the growths include:

  • Charging of the crucible with starting materials (mixture of powders)
  • Heating of the crucible until starting materials in the crucible are completely melted
  • Upward displacement of the seed until its contact with the meniscus or crucible
  • Formation of the meniscus and partial melting of the seed top
  • Correction of the shape of the meniscus through appropriate adjustment of crucible temperature and position of the seed crystal
  • Crystal growth through pulling of the seed in downward direction
  • Separation of the as grown crystal from the meniscus
  • Cooling of the system (including the crystal and the crucible) to room temperature

See also


  1. ^ Fukuda, Tsuguo; Chani, Valery I (2007). T. Fukuda; V.I. Chani (eds.). Shaped Crystals: Growth by Micro-Pulling-Down Technique. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-540-71294-7.
  2. ^ Yoshikawa, A.; Nikl, M.; Boulon, G.; Fukuda, T. (2007). "Challenge and study for developing of novel single crystalline optical materials using micro-pulling-down method". Opt. Mater. 30 (1): 6-10. Bibcode:2007OptMa..30....6Y. doi:10.1016/j.optmat.2006.10.030.

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