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Nickel is a silvery white metal that is used in a wide range of applications including stainless steel, alloys, and catalysts. It is also a malleable material that has great oxidation resistance and is used in the production of metal plating.
Currently, nickel single crystals are used in a number of applications. Specifically, they are employed as sensors, actuators, and transducers. They are also applied in energy harvesting devices and medical ultrasonic diagnostic devices.
The availability of high-quality single crystals has facilitated the development of new devices. However, a growing demand for these materials has necessitated the development of improved growth techniques. A variety of methods are available for the production of bulk inorganic single crystals.
First, single crystals can be grown from melt. Another method is the sublimation process. Vapor-phase growth is also a possibility, which uses lower processing temperatures. In addition, single crystals can be formed by a transport reaction. These methods are less expensive than conventional single crystal growth.
Single crystals can be produced from polycrystalline ceramics. However, the process of solid-state conversion is more complex. Solid-state conversion of polycrystalline materials involves abnormal grain growth, which results in the production of a single crystal. Several factors can influence the growth of single crystals, including the presence of volatile elements and chemical inhomogeneities.
To date, research on solid-state conversion has only focused on a small number of materials. However, future studies will probably include a wider variety of materials.