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Are there any known, or suspected compounds that take the crystal structure of what ever object they are touching, i.e. if it touches $\ce{NaCl}$ it would turn into a face centered cubic crystal structure.

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  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by touching? Rubbing to crystals and wow now they have the same structure? $\endgroup$ – Mithoron May 2 '15 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron sort of, but like a liquid crystal, more like: Oops spilled this, OMG its now a the structure of that randomly placed salt on the floor $\endgroup$ – tox123 May 2 '15 at 21:21
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No, there is no "exact mimic" crystal, but the crystal habit can alter the crystal form. Consider that the environment in the uniform inside of a substance is different from that along its boundaries; growing on a different surface can alter the shape of the crystal.

The semiconductor industry, in particular, is often faced with difficulties in growing crystalline semiconductors with layers of varying composition (epitaxy). There is often strain, leading to defects, unless an intermediate layer can smooth the transition.

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