Laser-induced Crystallization of Supersaturated Urea Solutions

Supersaturated solutions and vapors contain an excess of dissolved or evaporated substances, and therefore are not thermodynamically stable. A slight perturbation, such as a knock or a dust particle, can cause such a solution to crystallize or vapor to condense. The study of the light-induced condensation of supersaturated vapors dates back to the work of Tyndall in the 1860s. More recent interest has involved laser-induced chemical vapor deposition and the precipitation of laser-induced "snow." In all these cases, the absorption of visible or ultraviolet light caused a photochemical reaction forming some new substance that acted as the nucleus for the growth of the condensed phase

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