Take the 2-minute tour ×
Chemistry Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientists, academics, teachers and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I wonder why crystals of Naphthalene are needle-shaped after sublimation. Googling the fact, I could only confirm that it is true but failed to find the reason. Could someone please shed some light as to why this happens?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

Every solid material has a crystal structure. Sublimation tends to produce good crystals because the solid can grow slowly. In bulk form naphthalene crystals are broken and compressed and so bulk solid naphthalene looks quite different.

The exact same situation applies to snowflakes. They are flat hexagonal structures when seen individually. Crunch them into a snowball and they lose that pretty structure.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.