Nucleation kinetics, growth, mechanical, thermal and optical characterization of sulphamic acid single crystal†
Sulphamic acid (HSO3NH2) is a potential material that exhibits excellent piezoelectric and non-linear optical properties. Nucleation and growth kinetics give valuable information about the crystal growth process, which can be employed in the growth of large size crystals. Thus we have studied its nucleation parameters such as solubility, metastable zone width, induction period, interfacial tension, critical free energy, volume free energy change, critical nucleus and found that good quality sulphamic acid crystal can be grown at low temperature. Growth of good quality crystal was done by adopting slow evaporation solution growth technique at room temperature and as a result, good quality single crystal was grown. The grown bulk single crystal of the title compound was subjected to various characterization analyses. Its unit cell dimensions were confirmed using powder X-ray diffraction. Further its crystalline perfection was assessed using high resolution X-ray diffraction and X-ray topography techniques and it was found that it is reasonably good. Its various functional groups were identified from the Fourier transform-Raman method. Nanoindentation was performed to identify the load dependence and independence of hardness (H) and Young's modulus (E) using the Oliver–Pharr method and it was found that both H and E exhibit peak load dependence. Photopyroelectric study was performed to identify its thermal properties such as thermal diffusivity (α), thermal conductivity (k), thermal effusivity (e), and heat capacity (cp). These studies reveal that it has high thermal stability compared to other single crystals. The optical homogeneity of the grown crystal was assessed using a birefringence interferometer and it was found to be reasonably good.