A university laboratory (Russia) has developed a versatile method of perfect crystal growth as a technology to produce a wide range of crystals. These can be applied in detectors, customs terminals for cargo and cars examination, anti-terror systems, in a tomography of ultrahigh permission and a magneto-optics. The laboratory is looking for industrial partners to identify crystals for mass-market applications, for transfer of technology of crystal growth and sale of crystal growth equipment.
Production of crystals often comes across many shortcomings. They are defects, crudity, size limitations. Moreover, growth processes demand longer times and high consumption of energy.
Now a university laboratory (Russia) has developed a versatile method of perfect crystal growth as a production technology that eliminates these shortcomings. The authors have designed and built a pilot plant to demonstrate the technology.
Due to crystal growth method being able to produce perfect crystals, the end products made with the use of developed technology can be used in equipment for ultra-high-resolution tomography, in magneto-optics and in terrahertz radiation installations, for detecting ionizing radiation and rare processes, for nonlinear optics, electro-optics and acousto-optics.
So, the technology provides a lot of benefits for instrument makers because synthesized materials are of higher quality, produced with less energy and their properties are more versatile.
Currently, the following crystals have been grown using novel technology:
- CdWO4, ZnWO4 - for X-ray Cargo systems;
- Ge, CdTe, CdMgTe, CdMnTe, CdZnTe - for detection of ionizing radiation;
- ZnMoO4, Li2MoO4, PbMoO4 - for detecting rare processes;
- KTiOPO4, LiNbO3, for nonlinear optics and electro-optics.
-TeO2 – for acousto-optics.
The university offers partners various types of cooperation. A partner and university can participate in joint R&D to synthesize crystals, which are of interest for the partner. Since the whole range of crystals demanded by the market is unknown, then, at the request of an industrial partner the university can develop the customized technology of growing the crystals in demand at the pilot plant at the university.
To meet a particular request of an industrial partner, the technology for growing crystals can be scaled up by developing technical documentation for an industrial equipment for production of a specific crystal. If need be, the university can manufacture an industrial plant for growing crystals and work out specific crystal growth technology.
The university can transfer the technology by signing an agreement on licensing the rights to use the method and the equipment under supervision of technology developers. To fulfill the licensing agreement, the university can design, manufacture, supply and install the equipment, run test for crystal growth and train the personnel of the partner. In the process of setting up production, university specialists can carry out supervision of the crystal growth processes and provide technical consultations. In case of production expansion, the university can provide services to scale up crystal growing facilities.
Innovative aspects of crystal growth method consist in organizing a special thermal zone in melt near crystallization front, where self-arrangement of crystals occurs in crystallographic directions with minimal surface energy with the formation of atomically smooth faces at an angle to the isotherm. The crystal growth occurs strictly in a certain orientation, which prevents formation of defects and ensures the high purity of resulting crystal material. The novelty of the technology is also based on creating the conditions for deep cleaning of the material (face effect) and the absence of thermoelastic stresses leading to dislocations.
The novel technology of crystal growth offers a wide range of advantages over conventional methods. These include:
- Higher quality - The crystals are of higher quality in comparison with synthesized by traditional methods due to absence of defects and the highest degree of perfection of crystals.
- Yield - The yield of crystal material from the initial charge is significantly higher than in conventional technologies - up to 98%.
- Size - The size of the crystals is physically unlimited.
- Energy efficient: Power consumption of installations is much lower than in conventional technologies.
- Versatile: It is possible to produce any crystals that have a melting point, including semiconductors, with only the thermal node and the growth container being changed.
- Flexibility: The flexibility of technology that allows you to develop technologies for growing new materials in just a few months.
- Digitalization – it is possible to digitize the technology and monitor and control remotely the production of crystals via the Internet.
Intellectual property status
Other forms of protection
Currently there are no patents covering the technology. The method and the devices for crystal growth are protected as know-how.
Current development status
Commercially available technologies - - There is a pilot plant for demonstration of the technology. TRL=6-7
Desired business relationship
New technology applications
Industrial partners may need scintillator of a CdWO4-tungstate of cadmium production – the original material for the large-size X-Ray Cargo detectors, customs terminals for examination of large-size freights and cars, anti-terror systems.
Industrial partners may be interested in production of such semiconductors as CdMnTe, CdTe, CdZnTe, CdMgTe for tomography of ultrahigh permission and magneto-optics, GaSe for the terahertz radiation, NR Ge, HP Si.
The partner may demand high-temperature crystals, in particular, Al2O3:Ti, Y3Al5O12, Tb3Ga5O12, Ga2O3.
In addition, prospective partners may be interested in organization of production of versatile plants for crystal growth. These plants can produce customized crystals for particular needs of other clients.
Perspective partners may be active in the following:
- Manufacture of equipment for production of crystals.
- Production of the large-size X-Ray Cargo detectors, customs terminals for examination of large-size freights and cars, anti-terror systems.
- Production of semiconductors for tomography of ultrahigh permission and a magneto-optics, for terahertz radiation.
- Production of high-temperature crystals.
Prospective business relationship:
- Acquisition of technology licenses and equipment.
- Joint R&D.
- Organization of production.
- Scaling up production of crystals.