When attempting to grow crystals, start by making a crystal solution that is as saturated as possible. This will minimize the amount of time necessary for the crystals to form, and maximize their potential for growth. If a single, large crystal is desired, start the process with a seed crystal. Allowing a solution droplet to dry on a flat surface, such as a clean plate, is good way to obtain a seed crystal for a project.Continue Reading
Saturated crystal solutions vary depending upon the ingredients involved in the recipe of the desired crystal, but typically they are created by adding as much crystal solute to a solvent as possible. Stirring the mixture thoroughly helps to ensure that the solute fully dissolves into the solvent. The saturation process can sometimes be aided by applying heat to the solution, or using hot water if it is the base of the solvent.
When growing crystals, use a rough surface or object as a matrix for the crystals to grow. Rough surfaces facilitate the nucleation of solute particles better than smooth surfaces. However, smooth surfaces are useful for controlling a crystal's growth. For instance, attaching a seed crystal to a piece of nylon line, rather than rough string, will prevent the crystal from growing on the object.Learn more about Chemistry