Lanthanum Aluminate Twinning

Lanthanum aluminate forms imperfect, twinned single crystals if cooled too quickly from the high temperatures of annealed crystallite formation. When this occurs, the molecules of the substance do not have sufficient time to settle into the arrangement of a perfect crystal, and the flaw becomes permanently locked into its structure. In addition, gravity has been found to interfere with perfect lanthanum aluminate crystallization as well. Thus, crystallographers are hoping that outer space could be utilized for growing lanthanum aluminate crystals devoid of twinning. Indeed, gravity-free experiments conducted on the space shuttle missions and in space laboratories could help facilitate the creation of the next generation of superconducting materials and dictate their future applications.

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