Undercooling of molten silicon

Devaud, G.; Turnbull, D.
May 1985
Applied Physics Letters;5/1/1985, Vol. 46 Issue 9, p844
Academic Journal
Droplets of uncoated molten Si (0.4-0.8 mm diameter) have been undercooled 250 °C. Ge droplets of similar size have been undercooled 280 °C in a B[sub 2]O[sub 3] flux. The observed nucleation onset temperatures of both Si and Ge droplets are at or below the predicted amorphous phase melting temperatures T[sub a1]. The solidified structures were potycrystalline. The nucleation frequency I, calculated from the Si data (2 × 10[sup 4]/cm³ s at 240 ± 20 °C undercooling), should be an upper limit of the homogeneous nucleation frequency of the crystal phase, since we did not establish that nucleation was homogeneous in our experiments. However, this limiting I for Si indicates that homogeneous nucleation of crystal would not become appreciable in laser pulsing experiments until, the liquid Si is undercooled to well below T[sub a1].


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