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January Chementator briefs

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

  Aiding crystal growth Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL; Upton, N.Y.; www.bnl.gov) have patented a method for absorbing hydrogen fluoride gas to enhance crystal growth. HF is commonly added to precursors to transfer crystalline order from a substrate to a growing material, but buildup of the gas can slow down or even stop the reaction. Simply venting the HF is not practical because other necessary gases may be present, and also pressure variations cause non-uniformity in crystals. The BNL method features a solid material that selectively absorbs HF, leaving behind oxygen, water vapor and other gases that may be necessary for the reaction. The method has been demonstrated for growing crystals of a common yttrium-barium-copper-oxide (YBCO) superconductor. The YBCO crystal growth rate was faster when using a barium-oxide HF absorber than when conventional methods were used, says BNL. The technology — available for licensing or commercialization is expected to find applications in superconductors, optical devices and microelectronics. DME to propylene JGC Corp. (Yokohama; www.jgc.co.jp) and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (Tokyo, both Japan; www.m-kagaku.co.jp) are investing ¥2.6 billion ($29 million) in a pilot…
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