Hydrothermal Growth of High Quality Rhombohedral Crystals (2006-009)

Market Overview:

This crystal growth approach utilizes hydrothermal growth to produce high quality, single crystals of sufficient size for use in ultraviolet solid state lasers. There is an increasing demand for higher performance materials that can be used in solid state lasers. The desired materials, however, must be high quality single crystals large enough  and capable of being cut, shaped, and polished appropriately for use in solid-state optical lasers. Clemson University researchers have developed a general hydrothermal crystal growth process that produces crystals in a low temperature under pressure. Ultimately, this crystal manufacturing approach allows an economically feasible way to mass produce quality, acentric crystals that are suitable for deep, ultraviolet laser applications.



Optics; Solid-state lasers; Crystal growth manufacturing



• Employs easily attainable hydrothermal growth techniques, creating commercially viable conditions for mass production of large crystals exhibiting fewer defects and less thermal strain

• RBBF crystals produced can be used to perform optical processes such as second harmonic generation, generating coherent radiation in the form of laser light, in the ultraviolet region

• Bypasses the limitations imposed by KBBF crystals, allowing for harder and higher quality RBBF crystals to be grown


Technical Summary

This invention showcases the use of hydrothermal crystal growth to produce rhombohedral fluoroberyllium borate crystals having the formula MBe2BO3F2 (MBBF) wherein M is Rb, Cs, or Tl. The crystal growth process is a low temperature method in which the crystals are being grown in an aqueous solution containing fluoride ions at a temperature generally within the range of 350oC-600° C under pressure.  In this specific crystal growth process, the crystals are grown in the rhombohedral space group, R32. Clemson University researchers first used this approach to create rhombohedral potassium fluoroberyllium borate (KBBF) crystals. However, due to the limitations that arise from KBBF crystals, the inventors began to use Rb, Cs, and Tl metals versus potassium. As a result, this  hydrothermal crystal growth approach allows for the mass production of much harder, higher quality crystals for optical laser applications.


Stage of Development

Proof of concept


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Inventors:                      Joseph Kolis, Colin McMillen


Application Type:          Utility


Patent Numbers:            7,731,795, 8,834,629, 7,540,917 B2, 7,591,896


CURF Ref No:                05-027, 06-009

Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Andy Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
Joseph Kolis
Colin Mcmillen
Photonic Crystals
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