Crystal Growth
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-MOL071
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; Moleculaire Wetenschappen;
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. E. Vlieg
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. E. Vlieg
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. E. Vlieg
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. E. Vlieg
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
KW2  (02/11/2020 to 24/01/2021)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After this course, the student is able to:
  • Explain the basic nucleation and growth processes and the multitude of shapes of crystals
  • Explain and calculate the rate of homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation of crystals using analytical models
  • Predict the surface morphology of crystals at a molecular scale and on the basis of this their growth mechanism using simple statistical thermodynamics models
  • Derive and use rate equations for crystal growth by two-dimensional nucleation and spiral growth.
  • Use the Periodic Bond Chain method to predict crystal shapes from crystal structure and bonding for simple crystal structures.
  • Apply elementary mass transport models to interpret their influence on the growth and shape of crystals.
The largest part of Earth and Moon is composed of crystalline materials. In the fields of materials science, metallurgy, geology, industrial technology and life sciences the formation and properties of crystals play a main role: rocks, minerals, ores, metals, ceramics, computer chips, sugar, salt, medicines, bones, teeth and shells. Crystals are everywhere! Therefore, understanding the nucleation and further growth of crystals is a highly relevant issue. In this series of lectures we elaborate on why crystals have certain facets, how they nucleate and further grow and how inclusions and dendrites are formed. Another aspect of this course is learning how to understand physical chemical reality by setting up and using more or less simple physical, computer and mathematical models.

Instructional Modes

Presumed foreknowledge
Crystal Structure (MOL032), Thermodynamics 1 and 2, (MOL017 and MOL040), elementary statistical thermodynamics and standard mathematics.This is a course in the theme 'Functionality'.
Test information
Written Exam
Information, elaboration problem session exercises, etc. can be found on Blackboard. This course will most likely be given in Dutch.
Required materials
Syllabus by W.J.P. van Enckevort.

Instructional modes


Test weight1
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock KW2, Block KW3