Single crystals of the acentric compound methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate were grown by self-nucleation and seeded growth from the vapor phase by the physical vapor transport (PVT) process. In the temperature range of 80-95 °C (nucleation supersaturation 0.97 to 0.88), all crystals were of the polymorphic form as produced by room-temperature solution growth. Self-nucleated crystals varied in macromorphology from columnar to octahedral to skewed octahedral and finally to skewed columnar but retained the same crystal forms indicated by theoretical calculations. Micromorphological studies of growth faces indicated that these variations result from changes in growth mechanisms that influence both the defect structure and perfection of the growing crystal. X-ray topographic studies confirmed that growth under the most ideal conditions, when the dominant faces of the crystals were growing by a dislocation induced Burton, Cabrera, and Frank mechanism, yielded the structurally most perfect crystals. Preliminary studies of seeded growth were performed as a prelude to using PVT for the growth of larger crystals. The seeded growth followed a different pattern of supersaturation dependence. All crystals showed the same asymmetric growth along the polar axis that has come to be regarded as characteristic of these highly polar acentric materials when grown from solution.
- X-ray topographic studies