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Facilities: Levitation Zone Melter

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Levitation zone melting is a containerless processing method for the growth of high temperature, high purity, alloys and compounds. Specifically, induction power is used to heat, levitate, and constrain the liquid zone, as schematically shown in the figure below. Mixing within the liquid occurs by induction stirring and rotation of the freezing interface to promote a planar solid/liquid interface. Containerless confinement of the liquid zone removes the thermodynamic limitations imposed when using a crucible for liquid containment; thus, the molten zone can be treated as on open chemical system and selected chemical reactions can be used to obtain desired purity levels. Furthermore, electromagnetic levitation of the liquid zone allows for the processing of larger diameter ingots (~25 mm diameter) than possible with other floating zone techniques that rely on surface tension to contain the liquid zone.

Levitation zone melting: the containerless containment of the molten zone allows for processing of high temperature alloys in an ultra-high purity environment