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Journal of Thermal

Science and
Technology

Vol. 3, No. 3, 2008

Numerical Simulation of Hydrothermal
Autoclave for Single-Crystal Growth Process*
Yoshio MASUDA**, Akira SUZUKI**, Yutaka MIKAWA***, Valery CHANI****,
Chiaki YOKOYAMA**** and Takao TSUKADA*****
**AIST,
4-2-1, Nigatake, Miyagino-ku, Sendai 983-8551, Japan
E-mail: y-masuda@aist.go.jp
***Fukuda Crystal Laboratory,
6-6-3 Minami-Yoshinari, Aoba-ku,Sendai 989-3204, Japan
E-mail: mikawa@fxtal.co.jp
****Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku Univ.,
2-1-1, Katahira, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
E-mail: chiaki@tagen.tohoku.ac.jp
*****Osaka Prefecture Univ.,
1-1 Gakuen-cho, Sakai, Osaka 599-8531, Japan
E-mail: tsukada@chemeng.osakafu-u.ac.jp

Abstract
Numerical simulation of the hydrothermal process for growing two-inch bulk
single crystals of ZnO has been done. The autoclave is assumed to be
axisymmetric. The heat transfer by natural convection is discussed for flat and
funnel-shaped baffles. The funnel-shaped baffle leads to a significant increase in
the flow rate between the raw material zone and the crystal growth zone. However,
the temperature difference between the two zones does not become very small.
Therefore, the funnel-shaped baffle is effective in the hydrothermal crystal growth
process from the viewpoint of transport phenomena. The calculations show that the
optimum baffle angle about 20°. Similar results are obtained when the raw material
is considered as a porous medium.
Key words: Hydrothermal, Crystal Growth, Numerical Simulation, Natural
Convection, Baffle

1. Introduction

*Received 17 May, 2008
(No. T2-TSE_15_4_3)
Japanese Original : Thermal Sci. & Eng.,
Vol.15, No.4, (2007), pp.189-196
(Recieved 16 Mar., 2007)
[DOI: 10.1299/jtst.3.540]

One of the commercial techniques for growing bulk single crystals is the hydrothermal
method. In this method, a temperature difference is created between the crystal growth zone
and the raw material zone in the autoclave and a bulk single crystal is grown on a seed
crystal by using the difference in solubility between the phase to be grown and the raw
material. This method has been used for growing practical quartz single crystals. Moreover,
it has also been used to develop a technique for growing ZnO bulk single crystals; ZnO is
noticed as a suitable material for the next-generation light emitting diodes (LEDs) and also
for their substrates (1). Figures.1(a) and (b) show the schematic diagrams of present and
next-generation blue-light-emitting diodes, respectively. In (a), a GaN buffer layer, n-type
GaN layer, luminous layer, and p-type layer are grown in sequence on a sapphire substrate.
Because of a high lattice mismatch, about 15%, between sapphire and GaN, a GaN crystal
grown on sapphire has high dislocation density; consequently, the luminescence efficiency
is limited. Moreover, the electrodes for external connection cannot be installed at the top
and bottom, since sapphire is an electric insulator. In order to circumvent these problems,

540

about 2%. at a height of 0. 3. its inner and outer diameters are φ = 100 and 300 mm and its inner and outer heights are 1 and 1. Similar to in a general crystal growth autoclave. a ZnO or GaN crystal is grown on a ZnO substrate. hence. In this paper. while the lattice mismatch between ZnO and GaN is small.5 m. the lower part is heated to a temperature higher than that of the upper part. respectively. 2. 1 Schematic diagrams of blue LEDs.Journal of Thermal Science and Technology Vol. The first-order implicit scheme for time derivation term is applied and the state is considered as steady when all the normalized averaged residual satisfies less than 0.1%. Considering the autoclave for growing two-inch bulk single crystals. A 1-mm-thick baffle is set at the autoclave center. it is essential to fabricate high-quality ZnO crystals. it is very difficult to perform measurements inside an autoclave due to its high temperature and pressure.4 m.. 3. and we consider that the best ZnO crystal growth method is the hydrothermal method because it has been practically used for growing bulk quartz crystals. the system is assumed to be axisymmetric and the seed crystal is neglected. As a result. The key point of this model is that it compensates for the over estimation of the formation near the stagnation point which appears in the standard k-ε equations. numerical simulation is very useful in this case. we have calculated and discussed the heat transfer by natural convection inside an autoclave for 2-inch ZnO bulk crystals for different shapes of a baffle plate. Calculation methods Figure 2 shows the schematic diagram of an autoclave for hydrothermal crystal growth and the physical model of numerical simulation. in order to fabricate improved blue LEDs. the upper and the lower parts are divided by a baffle and serve as the crystal growth zone the raw material zone. that is. No. For efficiently fabricating high-quality ZnO bulk single crystals. As a turbulent model. The autoclave is heated from a surrounding wall. it is very important to understand the natural convection and temperature fields in an autoclave. SC/Tetra produced by SOFTWARE CRADLE Co. Here. The problem of lattice mismatch does not arise when the substrate and crystal are both of ZnO. respectively. The boundary conditions are as follows: the top and bottom walls are adiabatic. However. The difference scheme for convection term is second-order accurate. the temperature of the side wall varies linearly with height between the heights of 68 and 72 541 . 2008 we will fabricate LEDs of type (b). the crystal defects are considerably less. is used as computational fluid dynamics software. In the present calculation. Therefore. Ltd. The SIMPLEC algorithm is employed to solve the pressure correction equation. (a) Present blue-light-emitting diode (b) Future blue LED Fig. MP (modified production) k-ε model (2) is employed.

the radius of the hole at the center of the baffle is 7. the calculations for this method are performed in the same manner.8 platina 21150 146 75. Further. In this research. The physical properties in the present calculation are indicated in Table 1. 3. the baffle. In addition. Density Inconel 8420 Heat Thermal Capacity conductivity 444 14.3 4605 0. Fig.5 Water 762. Li et al. Based on the same principle. of platinum. thus. The Boussinesq approximation is employed to calculate the natural convection. The baffle angles are 0° (flat). The autoclave is assumed to be made of Inconel. 3. 30°.001718 Baffle shapes are the most important aspect of the present calculation. a small interspace is needed between the baffle and the surrounding (inconel) wall and the open-space ratio of the baffle is about 10%. we make calculations for funnel-shaped baffles shown in Fig. Thus. it may not faithfully represent an actual crystal growth process. for stable convection. The relation 542 . have also made calculations for a hydrothermal crystal growth process when a circumferential temperature profile exists (4)-(6) and when the open-space ratio of the baffle and the hole geometry are changed (7)(8).35 mm.8 cm. The values of Inconel and platinum are taken from JSME Data Book: Heat Transfer (4th Edition) (3) and those of high-temperature (350 °C) and high-pressure (100MPa) water are taken from IAPWS-IF97. Table 1 Physical Properties. but it is constant at 370 °C less at 68 cm and 350 °C more at 72 cm. 2 Schematic diagram of a hydrothermal autoclave and physical model in the present calculation.Journal of Thermal Science and Technology Vol. 10°.3. 20°. it is well known that a GaN balk single crystal can be grown in high-temperature and high-pressure ammonia (9)-(11). To our empirical knowledge from the quartz crystal growth process.574×10-5 Coefficient of thermal expansion 0. the baffle should be funnel-shaped. there is no interspace between the baffle and the surrounding wall in their calculations. and 40°.6143 Viscosity Water 9. No. 2008 cm. However. It is called ammonothermal method. The baffle radius is 4. the space between the baffle and the surrounding wall is 2 mm. The initial conditions are as follows: the temperature in the whole area is 350 °C: the fluid is stationary.

3. 3 Designs of the baffle. In this figure. Such a flow pattern conforms to one from our empirical knowledge from the quartz crystal growth process. the main flow pattern similar to that in Fig. We will numerically analyze how such convection changes occur owing to the influence of the baffle. Therefore. From Fig.000 that enable us to obtain a stable solution for the only case wherein a rising flow exists in the space between the baffle and the surrounding wall. counterclockwise natural convection is dominant in the raw material zone. clockwise flow is dominant in the crystal growth zone. Fig. 3.4 exists far from the baffle. Thus. It is found that the downward flow velocity 543 . The number of elements in the calculation is assumed to be about 140. as in Fig.5. No.Journal of Thermal Science and Technology Vol. The temperature in the fluid comparatively becomes constant easily because of the natural convection.1 Calculation only considering high-temperature and high-pressure water Figure 4 shows the main flow direction of natural convection in the raw material zone and crystal growth zone. They have not discussed an improvement of a real crystal growth process. 3. on the other hand. The average temperature inside the autoclave exceeds 350 °C because its top and bottom walls are adiabatic. have made calculations for the ammonothermal GaN single crystal growth process when the raw material zone is (1) under the baffle (12) and (2) over the baffle (13).4. the black curved lines indicate the main flow. between solubility and temperature will be greatly influenced by a mineralizer. 4 Main flow direction of natural convection in a raw material zone and a crystal growth zone. Results and discussion 3. 2008 Fig. Chen et al. we will investigate preferable conditions of crystal growth process from the viewpoint of transport phenomena to numerically discuss the relationship between the baffle shape and heat transfer by natural convection. Figure 5 shows the flow fields in the vicinity of the baffle when the baffle angle is 0° (flat) and 20°. In the present calculation.

the downward flow is not in the direction of the main flow at the center in the crystal growth zone. the convection in the entire area is weak in the Fig. 3. 3. Therefore. On the contrary. Figure 6 shows the temperature distributions that include the part of a surrounding wall and the baffle. The reason for this is as follows.Journal of Thermal Science and Technology Vol. Moreover. as in Fig. No. the anti-main flow under the funnel-shaped baffle becomes weak. the main flow in the zone becomes strong. the main flow area in the crystal growth zone when the baffle is flat is larger than that when the baffle is funnel-shaped.6. 544 . Temperature fields near the baffle when the baffle is flat and funnel-shaped. Because this flow has the same direction as the main flow in the raw material zone. the development of the low-temperature (green) area is weak when the baffle is flat because the flow is slow at the center in the raw material zone.5. In addition. 2008 of the funnel-shaped (20° in angle) baffle at the center in the raw material zone is larger than that of the flat baffle. Thus. As shown in Fig. 6 Fluid flows near the baffle when the baffle is flat and funnel-shaped. The flow from the crystal growth zone to the raw material zone becomes smooth at the center when the baffle is funnel-shaped. 5 Fig. a considerably large area against the main direction flow is occupied when the baffle is flat.

Journal of Thermal Science and Technology Vol. the low-temperature (green) area can be seen under the baffle when the baffle is flat. and 40°. In Fig. over the baffle. When the baffle angle is 40°. 10°. when the baffle is funnel-shaped. the inflow of high-temperature fluid from the raw material zone becomes very large and the temperature becomes high throughout the crystal growth zone because the baffle angle is very large. the green area (high-temperature area) in the crystal growth zone when the baffle is funnel shaped is larger than one when it is flat. we will discuss the flow field near the baffle.e. The discussion of Fig. the flow velocity becomes fast in the entire raw material zone and heat transfer from the surrounding wall of this zone becomes large. However. the high-temperature (green) area contracts in the vicinity of the center axis in the crystal growth zone. On the other hand..7. it is found that the high-temperature (orange) area expands directly under the baffle. the anti-main flow area becomes smaller under the baffle. Fig. it is found that the low-temperature (green) area on the center axis in the raw material zone considerably extends downwards.8. The high-temperature area expands to the area in which this flow is reversed. Next. 3. This tendency is slightly different from the case when the angle is 0°–30°. Thus. Thus. In order to clarify these phenomena. No. i. From this figure. as the baffle angle increases. 20°. the anti-main flow area is larger as the baffle angle increases from 0° to 30°. 2008 raw material zone and the anti-main flow is dominant under the baffle.6 almost applies to Fig. When the angle is large. development of the low-temperature (green) area is expand because the flow is fast at the center in the raw material zone.e.. In the crystal growth zone.7. 30°. Such numerical simulation can clarify the heat and fluid flows in the entire hydrothermal autoclave. 7 20° 30° 40° Temperature fields in whole area. the change in the overall temperature distribution in the area with the baffle angle is shown in Fig. This is mainly because the upward flow becomes fast between the baffle and the surrounding wall since the flow at the center becomes fast from the crystal growth zone to the raw material zone. i. the anti-main flow is found to be opposite to that in Fig. 545 . However. in the crystal growth zone. when the baffle angle is 40°. The direction of the upward flow between the baffle and the surrounding wall is opposite to the main flow in this zone. in the raw material zone. 3.5. The flow velocity in this zone is also fast when the baffle is funnel shaped and the flow facilitated the heat transfer from the surrounding wall. angle 0° 10° Fig. However.8 shows the fluid flows near the baffle when the baffle angle is 0°.

a large amount of the raw material should be supplied to the crystal growth zone from the view point of the crystal growth rate. the surrounding wall. the average temperature is 365.Journal of Thermal Science and Technology Vol. and the temperature difference is more than 11 °C. thereby wasting the raw material and hindering the growth of the desired crystal to a large size. Thus. 20°. Thus. it is found that the temperature in the raw material zone decreases and that in the crystal growth zone increases as the baffle angle increases. the relationships between the baffle angle. This is because if the temperature changes smoothly. and 40°. 3. small crystals are generated at undesirable places.2 °C in the crystal growth zone. When the baffle is flat.10. Further. That is. From this figure. 3. we define that the raw material zone is under 40 cm and the crystal growth zone is over 60 cm in the inner water height because the raw material and seed crystal are not usually placed near the baffle. 8 10° 20° 30° 40° Fluid flows near the baffle when the angle of the baffle is 0°. 9 Relationship between the angle of the baffle and average temperature of a raw material zone and a crystal growth zone. the temperature difference between these two zones should be large. 30°. the baffle shape influences the temperatures of the entire raw material zone and the crystal growth zone. we discuss what condition is preferable from the viewpoint of transport phenomena. the temperature difference between the two zones. Further. 546 . and the flow rate are shown in Fig. No. it is observed that the average temperature [℃] 366 364 362 360 crystal growth zone raw material zone 358 356 354 0 10 20 30 40 angle of baffle Fig. it is preferable that the temperature changes drastically at the border between these zones. Furthermore. From Fig.8 °C in the raw material zone and it is 354. It can be said that the hydrothermal method takes advantage of the solubility difference by creating a temperature difference between the crystal growth zone and the raw material zone. for example. 10°. 2008 angle 0° Fig. Next.9. it is better to have a large flow between these two zones. Now. Figure 9 shows the relationship between the baffle angle and the average temperatures of the raw material zone and the crystal growth zone.

5 that is the position of the baffle when the angle is 0° and 20°.0 1. Ergun’s equation 547 . Fig. The change in the temperature profile when the angle is 0° is more sudden than that it is 20°. 3. Thus.7 times of that when the baffle is flat.2 Calculation considering the raw material as porous medium We show the calculation results considering that the raw material is a porous medium. in the crystal growth zone (z < 0. the sudden temperature change cannot be seen when the angle is 40°. Thus.6 °C and 10. lowers the temperature. 20 º and 40 º.3 °C when the angle is 0° and 20°.11 shows the temperature profiles at the center when the baffle angle is 0°.0 0. Considering the results of Figs.0x10-6 9.4 0. the point at which the temperature changes suddenly is not strictly z = 0.10 and 11.0 8.0 temperature flow rate 8.2 0.5 9.0x10-6 10. as in Figs. however. a funnel-shaped baffle is effective in the crystal growth process and the best baffle angle is considered to be about 20°. 368 366 temperature[℃] 364 0 20 40 362 360 358 356 354 352 0. 11 Temperature distributions of the center of the autoclave when the angle of the baffle is 0º. it is advisable to use a funnel-shaped baffle in the hydrothermal crystal growth process.5 7. 3.Journal of Thermal Science and Technology 12. respectively.0 0 10 20 30 5. and 40°.5 9.5.0x10-6 11.0x10-6 10.0 6. the temperature difference is not very large: it is 11.5 8.8 1.0x10-6 flow rate[m3/s] temperature differences[℃] Vol. 10 Temperature differences and the amount of flowing between a raw material zone and a crystal growth zone.0x10-5 11.6 and 7. No. funnel-shaped baffle considerably increases the flow rate than the flat baffle. 2008 4.5).5 and 8. The flow rate when the baffle angle is 20° is almost 1.6 0. 3. A strong downward flow at the center. The temperature profiles at the center change suddenly near z = 0.0 height[m] Fig. as in Figs. In addition.0x10-6 40 angle of baffle Fig. 20°.

54 W/m K.Journal of Thermal Science and Technology Vol. Considering the ZnO crystal growth process in this calculation. 548 . 5670 kg/m3. When the porous medium exists. the effect of natural convection is small in the porous medium and the temperature profile is stratified. From Fig. µ. the porous medium has few effects on the temperature field. U. In conclusion. regardless of the baffle angle.12 (c). 3. No.4. its temperature is higher than the temperature of the other area. receptivity. the (a) Fig. and ρ are the flow velocity and the fluid viscosity and the density. the influence of the cold fluid is suppressed in the raw material zone. 2008 ( ( dP 1 − ε ) µU 1 − ε )ρU 2 = 150 3 2 2 + 1. and specific heat. the influence of the cold fluid from the crystal growth zone extends to a quite low area. the low-temperature flow from the center of the funnel-shaped baffle is stopped and reversed at the surface of the porous medium. The fluid and the porous medium are assumed to be at the same temperature. thermal conductivity. When there is no porous medium in the raw material zone. the low-temperature (green) area exists between the baffle and the porous medium. φc is a shape function and is assumed to be 1. The porous medium is separated from by 1 cm from the surrounding wall and the bottom. even if the baffle angle is large. The porous media height is 0. hence. 12 (b) (c) Temperature fields in the autoclave: (a) without porous media (b) with porous media and (c) only porous media zone.75 3 dL ε φc D p ε φc D p 2 (1) is employed as the porous model.5 °C and slightly increases with the baffle angle. ε is the porosity and is assumed to be 0.25m. This figure shows that the temperature is higher if the porous medium exists. Therefore. the temperature drop in the lower part of this zone is suppressed and its temperature increases when baffle the angle is large. considering the raw material as the porous medium.25 m as a function of the baffle angle. the porous medium has the ZnO properties: density. The difference of the temperature is 1–1. To compare (a) and (b). Dp is the particle diameter and is assumed to be 5 mm. 3. temperature of the porous medium is very high. 495 J/kg/K. Owing to the high temperature of the surrounding wall in the raw material zone. Figure 12 shows the temperature fields when the baffle angle is 20° and the height of the porous medium is 25 cm: (a) without porous medium. Figure 13 shows the average temperature of the raw material (porous medium)zone with and without the porous medium when the height is 0. In the crystal growth zone. (b) with porous medium and (c) only porous medium.

368 0 20 40 temperature[℃] 366 364 362 360 358 356 354 352 0. and 40° are shown in Fig. No. 3.6 height[m] 0. 20°.0x10-6 12.5 366.5 4. 20 and 40 with porous media. 1.0 364. 549 .5 365.5 0 10 20 30 40 angle of baffle Average temperature of the porous media zone with and without porous media. The porous media height is 0.0x10-6 40 angle of baffle Fig. 13 3.5 7. 14 Temperature differences and the amount of flowing between a raw material zone and a crystal growth zone with porous media. 2008 We reconsider the above discussion from the viewpoint of transport phenomena (section 3.0x10-6 10. the temperature difference between the two zones.8 1. The crystal growth zone is defined to be the without porous media with porous media 367.5 5.5 9.0x10-6 13. and the flow rate are shown in Fig.2 0.0x10-6 temperature flow rate 11.15. 15 0.0x10-5 temperature differences[℃] 13.0 temperature[℃] 366.14: the temperature profiles at the center when the baffle angle of the baffle is 0°.0 Temperature distributions of the center of the autoclave when the angle of the baffle is 0.0 Fig.25m.0 365.0 8.0 0 10 20 30 flow rate[m3/s] Fig.Journal of Thermal Science and Technology Vol. 3. When its height is 0.4 0.1) when the porous medium exists. The porous media height is 0.25 m.0 6.0x10-6 11.25m. the relationships between the baffle angle.0x10-6 12.

2m.5 6.0x10-6 11. Such temperature profiles cannot be seen without the porous medium.5 8.3 appear to be linear but the temperature changes more gradually from z = 0. In this case. the temperature field in the raw material zone has a little difference if we employ a porous medium as the raw material.4 because of the porous medium. the flow rate.2m.16 and 17. The results are almost the same to the case when the height of the porous media is 0. From Fig. the crystal growth process is in progress and the raw material is dissolved and has decreased in amount. The porous media height is 0. 20 and 40 with porous media.15. the raw material zone is redefined by the area of the porous medium. No. it is found that the optimum condition from the viewpoint of transport phenomena is the same as that for the porous medium. 17 0.0 Fig.0 7. 368 temperature[℃] 366 0 20 40 364 362 360 358 356 354 352 0. however. Next. 3. such tendency is remarkably seen when the baffle is flat. The temperature profiles at the center change suddenly when the angle is 0° and 20° but the sudden temperature change cannot be seen when the angle is 40°.3 to 0.25 m.0x10-5 12. On the other hand. 16 9.5 1.0x10-6 5.0x10-6 11. 13. and the temperature profile at the center are the same as in the case when there is no porous medium.5 10.Journal of Thermal Science and Technology Vol. In summary.1 (the height of more than 60 cm). the results when the height of the porous medium is 0.0x10-6 3.0 temperature flow rate 10. 3.0 Fig. In particular.4 0.0x10-6 12. The tendencies of the temperature distribution. For example.0x10-6 40 Temperature differences and the amount of flowing between a raw material zone and a crystal growth zone with porous media. 550 . 2008 same as that defined in section 3.0x10-6 0 10 20 30 angle of baffle flow rate[m3/s] temperature differences[℃] 13. The porous media height is 0.0 4.6 height[m] 0.0 Temperature distributions of the center of the autoclave when the angle of the baffle is 0.2 m are shown in Figs. the temperature variations from z = 0 to 0.2 0. the flow rate when the angle is 20° is more than twice of that when the baffle is flat but the temperature difference is almost 1 °C.8 1.

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