When it comes to detecting and optimizing protein crystallization, a reasonable temperature range is between 4 and 45 degrees Celsius. Some proteins have even been known to crystallize at 60 degrees Celsius, such as glucagon and choriomammotropin. Crystals tend to grow faster in warmer temperatures due to the liquid containing the dissolved material evaporating quickly. Convection can also be a great method for growing high-quality crystals.
This involves creating a temperature gradient in the crystallization vessel by cooling or heating part of it, which leads to a slow and constant flow within the liquid phase. The idea is that more substance dissolves in the hottest part of the container and travels to the colder region where it begins to crystallize. The crystals move with the current and move to the shooting area, where they completely or partially dissolve. Those that only partially dissolve will grow on their next trip from warm to cold and warm up again.
Several hundred cartridges can make a crystal with a very good diffraction quality. The velocity in the vessel is proportional to the heat gradient, which should not be too large, since too fast a convection will not leave enough time for nucleation. In the last block of ice, each of the small crystals (called “crystallites” or “grains”) is a true crystal with a periodic arrangement of atoms, but the entire polycrystalline does not have a periodic arrangement of atoms, because the periodic pattern breaks at the boundaries of the grains. For example, selenite crystals larger than 10 meters are found in the Cueva de los Cristales in Naica, Mexico.
In 1999, the world's largest known natural crystal was a beryl crystal from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m (59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lbs). A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose components, such as atoms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal network that extends in all directions. The crystals found in rocks usually range in size from a fraction of a millimeter to several centimeters in diameter, although exceptionally large crystals are occasionally found. For example, a perfect diamond crystal would only contain carbon atoms, but a real crystal could also contain some boron atoms.
Very small holes reduce the maximum resolution at which the crystal is diffracted, larger holes destroy the glass. Under the old Garbage In = Garbage Out rule, a crystal structure is only as good as the glass used for data collection. Other methods of crystallization can be used depending on the physical properties of the substance, including hydrothermal synthesis, sublimation or solvent-based crystallization. Crystallography is the science that measures the crystal structure (in other words, the atomic arrangement) of a crystal.