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Washington State University Institute of Materials Research
Ruby and Sapphire

Crystal Growth

At WSU, we have 3 multi-zone Modified Vertical Bridgman (MVB) furnaces, a custom built 4 zone Travelling Heater Method (THM) furnace, and two High Pressure Bridgman (HPB) furnaces. Additionally, we have two Czochralski (CZ) furnaces, both of which can also perform Vertical Gradient Freeze (VGF) or Kyropoulos growth methods. One CZ furnace is custom built and allows rotation of the crucible.

All these furnaces come with its individual power and control systems along with proper monitoring equipment. LabVIEW® software and National Instruments® hardware is used for custom control and recording of furnace parameters and growth conditions.  More details can be seen through the individual page links.

5 PhD students, in addition to those focusing on CdTe-related materials, have assisted in the research:

  • Muad Saleh, “Characterization and Optimization of Dopants, Impurities, and Defects in Bulk Optical and Semiconductor Materials: Case Studies on ZnS, β-Ga2O3, and Nd:YAG,” PhD 2019, Materials Science & Engineering.
  • Peter Dickens, “Atomic Defects of Czochralski Grown Cerium and Calcium Co-Doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet, Cerium and Lithuim Co-Doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet , and Rare-Earthed Doped Lithium Aluminate,” PhD 2016, Materials Science & Engineering.
  • Drew Haven, “Activator Efficiency of Cerium Doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet by Defect Engineering,” PhD 2013, Materials Science & Engineering.
  • Denis Solodovnikov, “Improving Scintillation Performance of Ce-Doped Garnet Crystals by Defect Engineering,” PhD 2010, Physics.
  • Romit Dhar, “Growth and Optimization of Piezoelectric Single Crystal Transducers for Energy Harvesting from Acoustic Sources,” PhD 2009, Materials Science & Engineering.

From 1996-2020, we have grown at least 16 different crystals, not including doping variations, in our laboratories, as follows.

 Number of GrowthsMethodDopants
>250VB, THM, CZ
Er, Dy, V, Fe, Pb, Ge, Bi, In, Al
As, In
P, As, Sb, In, Cl
CdTe2O5, CdTeO3
ZnTeO3, Zn2Te3O8
~10VB, CZP, As, Sb, In, Cl
(x=0.3 and 0.32)
Cs2LiCeCl6 (Elpasolite)~5VB
Y3Al5O12 (YAG)
Gd3Ga5O12 (GGG)
similar mixed garnets
>60CZ, VGFCe, Er, Yb , Nd, B, Li, Ca
Ce, Tb
(doped Al2O3)
~10CZCr, Ti, Fe
LiAlO2>20CZMg, Ti, Ca, Ce, Eu, Pr
Ga2O3>60CZ, VGFCa, Mg, Zr, Hf, Al