Dendritic growth of glycine from nonphotochemical laser-induced nucleation of supersaturated aqueous solutions in agarose gels

Tasfia Tasnim, Audrey Goh, Omar Gowayed, Chunhua T. Hu, Tzu Yi Chen, Janice E. Aber, Bruce A. Garetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have observed two new morphologies of crystalline glycine grown from supersaturated aqueous solutions in agarose gels: tree-branch dendrites that nucleate spontaneously from a solution interface or by non-photochemical laser-induced nucleation (NPLIN) at the air−solution interface, and stellar dendrites that nucleate in the bulk of the solution induced only by laser irradiation. The tree-branch dendrites always consist of parallel, needle-like microcrystals of α-glycine and always grow unidirectionally in the c-direction, forming branches with small branching angles. The four-armed stellar dendrites consist of conglomerates of plate-like microcrystals of either α- or γ-glycine or a mixture of microcrystals of the two polymorphs, with the γ-glycine microcrystals concentrated in the core of the dendrite. The plate-like microcrystals of α-glycine grow primarily in the c- and a-directions. The stellar dendrite arm orientation is uncorrelated with the plane of polarization of the incident light, which does not lend support to the induced-polarization mechanism for NPLIN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5927-5933
Number of pages7
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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