The Crystal Growth Unit

The Crystal Growth Unit is the Material Science Backbone of the Optoelectronic Computing Laboratory. The Unit specializes in growing bulk electrooptical crystals using the Top Seeded Solution Growth (TSSG) method, and the growth of epitaxial layers using the Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) method. In particular the Unit specializes in the growth of potassium tantalate niobate (KTN), potassium lithium tantalate niobate (KLTN), and potassium sodium tantalate niobate (KNTN) crystals doped with a variety of impurities. The unit also performs post growth thermal annealing in different atmospheres for controlling the ionization state of the embedded impurities.
In addition to the growth of bulk crystals, the Unit is developing methods for the controlled growth of periodic striations that form permanent fixed and electroholographic gratings within the bulk crystals.
The Unit team consists of two senior material engineers Ms. Y. Garcia and Ms. G. Perepelitsa, and research students who focus in their projects on the material science aspects of the laboratory research. The Unit operates two TSSG systems one of which is dedicated to the striation project, and an LPE system. Growth post-processing equipment, including cutting, lapping and polishing instruments, and a high-vacuum metallization system, allow preparing the large spectrum of samples for different experiments and projects. The Unit also performs initial characterization of the grown crystals using electron microbe analysis, capacitance mapping and x-ray techniques.


R. Hofmeister, S. Yagi, A. Yariv, and A. J. Agranat, "Growth and Characterization of KLTN:Cu,V Photorefractive Crystals", J. Cryst. Growth. 131, pp 486-494 (1993).

C. E. M. de Oliveira, G. Orr, N. Axelrold and A. J. Agranat, "Controlled composition modulation in potassium lithium tantalate niobate crystals grown by of centered TSSG method", J. Cryst. Growth. 273, Nos. 1-2, pp. 203-206 (2004).