Dynamics of Crystal Nucleation and Growth

Crystals are fascinating materials and are omnipresent around us. The crystalline structure of minerals with its highly ordered assembly of constituent atoms, ions or molecules confers different morphologies and properties to the material.  

We are interested in the early stage of formation: the nucleation and growth of inorganic materials such as salts, the presence of water molecules in the structure and the impact of parameters such as additives, confinement, porous media.  

We are open to different types of research projects involving interesting physicochemical questions on both the fundamentals of phase transitions and their applications in various fields such as food science, the conservation of our cultural heritage, civil engineering and pharmaceuticals .

We would like to answer to questions such as : 

  • Can we quantitatively predict the speed of crystals growth during salt creeping?
  • Can we understand the self organization/ self assembly behaviour during crystallization? 
  • What is the role of confinement on nucleation and growth of crystals? 
  • What is the role of surface wettability on nucleation and growth on surfaces? 
  • Why and how does crystal growth in confinement induce a crystallization pressure? 
  • Can we control crystal shapes in nucleation and growth?  
  • What effects do surfactants have on the crystallization of inorganic compounds? 
  • Can we better understand hydrated crystals and their hydration/dehydration process?
  • Can we understand the characteristic shape of icicles?

Contact : Prof. Noushine Shahidzadeh (n.shahidzadeh@uva.nl)

Self-amplifying crystallization produces a Christmas tree of salt – Physics World
Qazi, M. J., et al. “Salt creeping as a self-amplifying crystallization process.” Science advances 5.12 (2019): eaax1853.

Salim, Herish, et al. “Self-lifting NaCl crystals.” The journal of physical chemistry letters 11.17 (2020): 7388-7393.

The Team

Postal Adress

Van der Waals-Zeeman Instituut
University of Amsterdam
P.O. Box 94485
1090 GL Amsterdam

Visit us

Science Park 904
C4.238 (4th floor)
1098 XH Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Contact us

Phone: +31 (0)20 525 6311
Fax:      +31 (0)20 525 5102
Email:   secr-iop-science(at)uva.nl