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This cluster of crystals wasn’t made with a mold, but rather Bhakti Patel made it in a lab. She’s a PhD student in Joe Kolis’s lab at Clemson University, which works on developing new magnetic and nonlinear optical materials. Patel mixed the compounds V2O5, SnO2, and CsF using a high-pressure and high-temperature hydrothermal method, which mimics the way many mineral crystals form in nature. She hoped to make a new compound containing vanadium and tin in a single structure but instead ended up with two different compounds: “leaves” of Cs2SnF6, which are green due to V4+ impurities, and “petals” of Cs2V3O8, which are black because of mixed V4+ and V5+ ions in the compound’s lattice.
Submitted by Bhakti Patel. You can follow her on Instagram at @crystalcrazeblue.
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