Crystallisation spectrometer

Francis, P 2001, Crystallisation spectrometer, Masters by Research, Applied Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Crystallisation spectrometer
Author(s) Francis, P
Year 2001
Abstract An improved crystallisation spectrometer has been designed, built and tested. It is to be used by others to gain new knowledge about the solidification of matter by study of the crystallisation of hard sphere colloid samples that are an established model for the behaviour of some aspects of atoms. In this crystallisation spectrometer, expanded and collimated green laser light is Bragg scattered from the colloidal crystals as they form, and the diffracted light is focused by a liquid filled hollow glass hemispherical lens onto low cost CCD array detectors that are rotated about the optical axis to average the intensities around the whole Debye-Scherrer cone of scattered light. The temperature of the sample is controlled to +/-0.1„a, and because of the ability to change the refractive index of the sample particles with temperature, this is utilised to control the amount of scattering from the sample Also, this spectrometer uniquely exploits the refractive index match of the colloidal particles, the solvent, the bath liquid, and the glass used for both the sample bottle and the hollow glass hemisphere. A unique facility has been incorporated to permit tumbling of the sample prior to the measurement commencing to shear-melt any pre-existing crystals. This ensures that the sample is completely fluid and is at the correct temperature at the start of the measurement. The instrument is assembled on an optical table and is computer controlled. Results presented show that this new spectrometer with its use of the whole Debye-Scherrer cone of Bragg scattered light and other enhancements gives insight into the crystallisation process more than one order of magnitude of time earlier than previous light scattering experiments, providing new knowledge about the crystallisation process.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Applied Sciences
Keyword(s) Colloidal crystals
Spectrometer -- Design and construction
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