The Crystal Growth Facility, first headed by Helmuth Berger, has synthesized hundreds of crystals over more than 40 years. These crystals have been the subject of vivid research leading to more than 600 publications. The structure, composition and physical properties of these unique materials remain intensively studied and the collection is continuously increasing as new crystals are produced.
The original laboratories before extensive renovation in the 90’s and recent expansion are shown below. The growth preparation lab with workstation not yet equipped with furnaces but with same transport agents available.
Growth Preparation Laboratory
The crystal growth lab was equipped with two zone furmaces for CVT in quartz ampule, a Czochralski furnace as well as tubular furnaces in which crystals were grown in a controlled atmosphere.
Crystal Growth Laboratory
In the late 80’s, part of the unique collection of crystals grown at the facility was exposed in the main library to the EPFL employees and students. They could read information on the scientific relevance of the crystals and their synthesis methods (Czochralski, Solution Growth, crystallization from gels, Chemical Vapor Transport…).
Last but not least, they could also enjoy the beauty of this colourful collection. Some pictures of the crystals, together with more recently grown ones, can be seen in the Nano and Macro Crystals section.