The Laser-Diode Heated Floating Zone Method for Automated Optimal Synthesis of Refractory Oxides and Alloys

Alemayehu S. Admasu, Durga Sankar Vavilapalli

We perform an experimental investigation of the synthesis of complex materials using the Laser-diode heated floating zone method (L-FZ). We will briefly introduce the Infrared-heated floating zone method of bulk crystal growth and then delve into recent advances in using a Laser-diode heated floating zone method. We demonstrate L-FZ for the growth of large high-quality single crystalline samples of of the n=2 Ruddlesden-Popper homologous series $RE_2SrAl_2O_7$, RE = Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy with physically interesting properties (e.g spin-ice) as well as the incongruently melting stuffed-tridymite type oxide $BaCoSiO_4$. We conclude with a summary of the results and future research directions in automating crystal growth, which will open access into the synthesis and characterization of previously unstudied class of materials such as refractory complex oxides and alloys.

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