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Report No.
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Formation and morphology of UO$$_{2}$$ image crystal

Serizawa, Hiroyuki; Oishi, Yuji*; Kaji, Yoshiyuki; Yamanaka, Shinsuke*

The image crystal is a shape controllable negative crystal which is sometimes reported by mineralogist. The negative crystals formed in a large single-crystal mass have attracted interest as expensive jewelry because of their mysterious appearance and rarity. Nonetheless, for many scientist, the cavity has been nothing else than a volume defect which occurs in a single crystal by chance. However, the authors found unexpectedly that the image crystal is formed in UO$$_{2}$$ when helium is enclosed in the gas bubble. They also found that the shape of the image crystal changes dramatically with the conditions of helium precipitation, which implies that the shape of the cavity should change depending on the inner pressure. A truncated octahedron-type, an octa-triacontahedron-type and a pentacontahedron-type negative crystal were observed. Recent study clarified that the growth process of the image crystal can be explained by a step free energy model rather than an attachment energy.

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