Optical floating-zone furnaces
Three optical floating-zone furnaces allow for crucible-free growth of large, high-quality crystals. These furnaces use focused light to melt a precursor feed rod and grow a crystal from a seed crystal. The furnaces are capable of temperatures exceeding 2000 °C under a variety of controlled atmospheres.
Standard box furnaces are used for the bulk fabrication, including the growth of the Hg-based cuprates using the encapsulated self-flux growth method. The Center has 12 standard box furnaces with maximum temperatures of 1100 - 1200 °C, and a high-temperature muffle furnace capable of up to 1600 °C. Many of the furnaces can run a customized temperature vs time program. Sealing the growth materials in a welded quartz tube allows for high vapor pressures during crystal growth.
Tube furnaces are used for crystal growth by chemical vapor deposition, post-growth annealing, and heat treatment. These include eight one-zone furnaces capable of up to 1100 °C, and two three-zone furnaces with maximum temperatures of 1200 °C and 1350 °C. Most of these furnaces are equipped with manifolds for gas flow and/or high-vacuum pumping.
Material handling equipment
The Center has three glove boxes and numerous fume hoods for safely handling hazardous materials and maintaining the purity of chemicals and samples during crystal growth preparation and sample preparation.