Crystallization is a process used in chemistry, biochemistry and materials science that allows for separation of substances when they are in solution. Crystallization involves formation of a solid crystalline material from a liquid solution. Generally, process begins with a homogenous solution containing dissolved substance being cooled or concentrated by evaporation until substance begins to form solid crystals.
Crystallization is used for isolation of molecules that are found in solution, such as proteins, polymers, drugs, and small molecules. It is also used for purification of these molecules. Because formation of crystals involves formation of a solid phase, it is an effective means of separating components from a solution.
In laboratory, crystallization is used in preparation of a wide range of materials, including pharmaceuticals and inorganic compounds. Crystallization is used to separate solids from their solutions, as well as to purify a material. For instance, a crystallization process can be used to purify a drug or to separate an organic compound from an aqueous solution.
In addition, crystallization can be used to isolate a substance from a complex mixture. The process allows for formation of one or more crystals from same solution, making it an effective way to separate components from a complex mixture. For instance, crystallization can be used to separate components of a mixture of proteins, such as a mixture of two or more proteins from a culture medium.
Crystallization is also used for crystallization of enzymes, which can be used for applications such as protein purification, biochemistry and drug design. Crystallization of enzymes is a very important step in drug discovery process, allowing for synthesis of pure, active enzymes.
Crystallization is also used in manufacturing of nanomaterials, such as nanoparticles and nanotubes. The use of crystallization in manufacturing of nanomaterials allows for production of materials with specific properties and structures. These materials can then be used in a variety of applications, ranging from medical devices to solar cells.
Overall, crystallization is a key process in a variety of industries, from pharmaceuticals to materials science. The ability to form and separate crystals from solutions makes crystallization a powerful method of separating components from complex mixtures, purifying materials and manufacturing nanomaterials.