Ratchet effect in faceting
A growth of perfect lyotropic crystals by temperature cycles
Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Université Paris-Sud, Bât. 510, 91405 , Orsay Cedex, France
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The paper deals with a new phenomenon, named ratchet effect, envisioned theoretically as a likely consequence of metastability of crystal facets and expected to occur upon a temperature cycling. In experiments, Pn3m lyotropic crystals surrounded by the isotropic L1 phase in the mixture C12EO2/water are used. At equilibrium, the Pn3m/L1 interface contains small (111)-type facets in coexistence with rough surfaces. In agreement with theoretical expectations, it is shown that upon a saw-tooth-shaped temperature cycling, facets are growing until the rough surfaces are completely eliminated. A model of the ratchet effect is proposed.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2004