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Birefringent Crystal Growing Tips?

 
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Claytown



Joined: 25 Feb 2018
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:46 pm    Post subject: Birefringent Crystal Growing Tips? Reply with quote

I'm mainly interested in photographing the beautiful effects and colors of birefringent crystals under a polarizing microscope. However, chemistry is not my strength. Does anyone have an tips on getting beautiful crystals to form? So far I've been working with epsom salt, washing soda, boric acid, wart remover, tartaric acid, and citric acid. I assume these all have different properties and grow crystals optimally under different circumstances. Many times I can get fantastic crystals, yet spectacular color only in small select areas. Is there a trick to getting a slide full of colors?
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ChrisR
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 7953
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried "retarders"?
Bits of sellotape, CD box or its wrapper will do, or quarter /half wave posh ones if you want to measure the phase shift.
They push you into pretty bits of the Michel-Lévy Chart.
A nice explanation is here.

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Chris R
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Claytown



Joined: 25 Feb 2018
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes yes! My favorite so far is a plastic spoon for it's variety of colors and the gradients you can get
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