Influence of controlled fluid shear on nucleation rates in glycine aqueous solutions

Carol Forsyth, Paul A. Mulheran, Claire Forsyth, Mark D. Haw, Iain S. Burns, Jan Sefcik

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46 Citations (Scopus)
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The nucleation of glycine was investigated in supersaturated aqueous solutions exposed to well-controlled fluid shear under isothermal conditions. Shear rates between 25 s-1 and 1000 s-1 were studied using Couette and capillary flow devices. Induction times were obtained from imaging, transmission and scattering measurements, or visual monitoring. Great care was taken to eliminate any seeding in order to avoid secondary nucleation preceding formation of first crystals through primary nucleation. The observed induction times of sheared solutions were considerably lower than those of unsheared solutions. Increasing the average shear rate was found to reduce the mean induction time through a power law relationship. A detailed statistical analysis showed that the number of experimental repetitions used was sufficient to obtain statistically significant trends for the system studied. Induction times appeared to closely follow a probability distribution based on a previously published model of Jiang and ter Horst. Using their model, where the induction time is related to the rate of formation of primary nuclei and the time it takes them to grow to the size where the secondary nucleation becomes significant, it was found that both the primary nucleation rate and the growth time were strongly dependent on the shear rate imposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number1
Early online date25 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2015


  • glycine nucleation
  • nucleation rate
  • growth rate
  • supersaturated aqueous solutions
  • fluid shear
  • isothermal conditions


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