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Normally silicon boules are round, but this one is square! I have several theories and maybe one of you readers will set me straight. One theory is that all silicon boules start out square like this, but turn round when they hit the edges of the spinning pot from which they are being drawn. This theory is supported by the fact that this one was obviously stopped before it finished growing any bigger than it currently is (click the turntable icon to the right to see the bottom side using the QTVR rotatable image). Another theory is that they accidentally mounted the seed crystal in the wrong orientation, causing the crystal to grow in the wrong shape, causing them to stop it early. All in all, I'm going with the first theory since there is no crystal axis that explains the round shape of other boules: That must come from the container, not the crystal growth itself.
And fortunately, reader Ian Haygood provided this explanation:
Hello,In other words, all my theories were wrong.
Source: eBay seller campgems
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 10 September, 2004
Text Updated: 5 December, 2006