Coordinated by Carlo Paorici

Relevant aspects of crystal growth (CG) are currently investigated in universities, private and governmental laboratories and industries. Advanced characterization techniques are usually available for crystal quality assessment. As obvious, not all the Italian growers are AIC members, but practically all of them interact with the AIC in the occasion of its annual meetings, which always include a specific symposium. The proceedings of these symposia are occasionally published. A look to the last of them [1] might give an idea of the CG activity in Italy. Its favourable acknowledgement abroad helped promote international meetings and schools in Italy; for the last years see, e.g., [2-5].

figure 11

Participants to the 10-th Summer School on Crystal Growth (ISSCG-10), Rimini, Hotel Continental

More in detail, most of the CG research has been devoted to the deposition and characterization of epitaxial and polycrystalline layers, as prepared by vapour phase (CVD, MOCVD, MBE, sputtering, pulsed-laser ablation, etc.) and sol-gel techniques. The motivations are usually the improvement of solid-state devices for special applications. The main activity is on semicomductors, such as silicon and Si-Ge alloys [6-9], III-V and II-VI compounds [1-6,10-17]; but also on magnetic materials [18-19], superconductors [10-11,20], diamond coatings and others.

Bulk CG technology is developed: (a) in industries: MEMC Electronics Materials grows silicon in Meran [9] while Venezia Technologies grows III-V compounds (GaAs, InP [21]) in Venice; (b) in governmental laboratories: crystals of II-VI [10,22] and III-V semiconductor compounds and organics (urea and derivatives, urotropine, etc.[10,23]) are grown by IMEM-CNR in Parma; (c) in universities: crystalline samples, usually grown from solution, are proteins [25], carbonates, phosphates and sulphates [26,27], zeolites [28], sugar [30].

Other topics worth mentioning are the growth of nanocrystals (Carbon [29,11,22], various oxides [1,22]) and space growth [1,4,23-25].

As to CG theory, research is especially developed from a phenomenological point of view, aiming at optimising, through modelling, CG processes in bulk and epitaxial technology (see, e.g., [1-7,23-25]), as well as at evaluating the relevance of space growth experiments [1,4,24-25]. Surface energy concepts are also made use of to study nucleation and crystal morphology aspects [26].

Finally, research is also carried out on the development of methods for estimating unknown parameters through "first-principles" calculations and the development of "multiscale" approaches, in view of linking atomistic, crystallographic and phenomenological aspects in CG [1,4,7].

[1] Proc. Italian Crystal Growth Symp., Naples, Sept.1999; Materials Chem.Phys.(single issue), R.Fornari, C.Paorici, A.Zagari eds.,66 (2000).

[2] Proc. ISSCG-10, Rimini, June 1998 (promoted by IOCG and IUCr);published as "Theoretical and Technological Aspects of Crystal Growth", R.Fornari, C.Paorici eds., Transtech, Zurich (1998).

[3] Proc. Intern. School on "Crystal Growth of Materials for Energy Production and Energy-saving Applications" (promoted by IUCr), R.Fornari. L.Sorba eds., ETS, Trieste (2001).

[4] Proc. Joint Italo-French Meeting on "Crystal Growth: from Basic to Applied", S.Carrà, C.Paorici eds., Academy of Lincei, Rome (2003).

[5] Proc. European Workshop on Metalorganic Vapour Phase Epitaxy, Lecce, June 2003, N.Lovergine, A.M.Mancini, P.Prete eds.,Univ. of Lecce (2003).

[6] Silicon Epitaxy, D.Crippa, D.L.Rode, M.Masi eds., Semiconductors and Semimetals Series, Vol.72, Academic Press, San Diego (USA) (2001).

[7] Politecnico di Milano;

[8] ST Microelectronics, Agrate;

[9] Memc Electonic Materials;

[10] IMEM-CNR, Parma;

[11] Univ. Parma, Dip. Fisica;

[12] Univ. Lecce, Dip. Scienza dei Materiali;

[13] IMEM-CNR, Parma;

[14] IMEM-CNR, Parma;

[15] Univ. Parma, Dip. Fisica;

[16] Univ. Parma, Dip. Fisica;

[17] TASC-INFM, Trieste;

[18] Ist. Galileo Ferraris, Torino;

[19] IMEM-CNR, Parma;

[20] IMEM-CNR, Parma;

[21] Venezia Tecnologie, Venezia;

[22] IMEM-CNR, Parma;

[23] Univ. Parma, Dip. Fisica;

[24] MARS Center, Napoli;

[25] Univ. Napoli "Federico II", Dip. Chimica;

[26] Univ.Torino, Dip. Scienze Mineralogiche e Petrologiche;

[27] Univ. Milano-Bicocca, Dip. Scienza dei Materiali;

[28] Univ.Calabria, Dip.Ing.Chimica e dei Materiali;

[29] Univ. Roma "Tor Vergata", Dip. Scienze e Tecniol. Chimiche;

[30] Univ. Ferrara, Dip. Chimica;