Abstract

A new etching pattern of quartz is formed, when a plate cut normal to the optic axis is subjected to the actions of hydrofluoric acid and electric field simultaneously. The general aspects of the pattern vary with the field intensity. In the case of weak field, the etching pattern consists of a number of regularly orientated small triangular figures which change their orientation from one twinned part to another. On the other hand, under the action of strong field, the triangular figures produced are generally smaller in size but by far greater in number than in the first case. The most striking features, exhibited in most of the etched surfaces under strong fields, are the appearance of groups of parallel long lines and bands as well as a kind of new etched zones which are similar in appearance but unlike in nature, the ordinary twinned zones. These groups of parallel lines and bands are exactly parallel to the electric axes of quartz; the presence of these lines and bands affords a very convenient way for the determination of the axes. There is reason to believe that the localities where the groups of parallel lines and bands as well as the new etched zones are found, are the seats of new crystalline defects arising from the so-called ‘primary’ crystal flaws. Some effects of the new crystalline defects on the oscillation characteristics of quartz oscillators are observed. The triangular etching figure, as revealed by a microscope, is composed of three sets of brushy parallel lines which make 120° with each other. The orientation of these sets of lines is a function of the applied field; those produced under weak field are approximately parallel to the three electric axes of quartz, with their outward ends directed to the positive extremities of the electric axes by compression, while those formed in strong field may deviate from the corresponding axes by as much as some ten degrees. Both the sense of deviation of the sets of lines with reference to the corresponding electric axes and the mode of arrangement of these brushy lines are found to be closely related with the sense of optical rotation of quartz. A general and accurate (to 1°) method for the determination of electric axes of quartz and their polarities, basing on the use of the orientations of the elementary etching figures, has been described.

© 1945 Optical Society of America

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