Crystallization is the process offormation the solid sugar crystals native a sugar solution and also it uses a particularly fascinating and rewardingexperience for the beginner microscope enthusiast, and there is basically nolimit to the scope for exploration, also with fairly simple apparatus.

Inthis post, we are going to observe the appearance of street crystals under themicroscope. To gain the best of this exploration, the compound microscope andthe stereomicroscopes space used however the stereomicroscope provides the finest resultbecause that the stereoscopic or 3-Dimensional illustration of the sugar crystallattice.

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Sugar i m sorry is the sweet tasting white gritty stuff we all recognize is sucrose, with 12 carbon atoms, 22 atom of hydrogen and 11 of the oxygen molecule v the molecular formulae (C12H22O11). Similar to every various other compound do from a mix of the 3 chemical aspects listed, sucrose is a carbohydrate, a two-sugar carbohydrate (disaccharide).

Naturally, sucrose or sugar deserve to be found in a great number that plant resources with the bulk being in sugarcane. Because that this an easy experiment, it"s ideal to use granulated sugar which has actually a grain size of about 0.5 mm across and is mostly used as dietary sugar in coffee or tea.

Demerara sugar can be checked out to it is in crystalline v the unaided eye while granulated street is clearly seen to be crystalline when viewed v the hand magnifier and better with a microscope.

The crystalline framework of the caster sugar have the right to only it is in seen through the compound or various other microscopes. Also, it will certainly not be easy to observe the really fine crystalline nature the icing sugar with a microscope, but it depends on the kind of microscopic lense used. 

Sugar in a measure up Spoon - photo Credit: Melissa Wiese

Using a link Microscope

Required Materials: 

Granulated sugar crystals. Microscope slide.Compound microscopic lense with strength supplyand illuminants.Spatula


1. Revolve the revolving turret that themicroscope so the the lowest strength objective lens is clicked into the 40x position.

2. Put a half-teaspoon the granulated sugaron the microscopic lense slide and also hold that in ar with the clips.

3. Look with the microscope’s eyepieceand then relocate the focus knob closely for the picture (sugar crystals) to comeinto clear focus.

4. Slightly change the microscope’s condenserand lot of illumination for optimum light intensity.

5. Through the emphasis knob, carefully placethe image into clear emphasis and likewise readjust the condenser and amount ofillumination for a clean image.

6. As soon as the image of the street samplecomes right into clear focus with the x10 power objective, you can then switch to thenet greater or reduced objective to zoom in or out of the image for clarity. Youcan in ~ this point use a spatula to revolve the crystal into various planes forbetter observation of the crystal geometry.

7. When you’re done v the viewing,lower the stage, then click the objective into the short lens power and also take outthe slide.

Sugar Crystals through Edal Anton Lefterov , indigenous Wikimedia Commons

Using the stereo Microscope


Granulated sugar crystals. Microscopic lense slide.Stereo microscopeSpatula.


1. Mountain a half-teaspoon the granulatedsugar on the microscopic lense slide ~ above the stage and also turnthe illumination on.

2. View through theeyepieces and adjust the focus knob till the sugar decision sample image comesinto clean focus.

3. Make some slightadjustments in the distance in between the eyepieces. It might be valuable to knowyour inter-pupillary street (IPD) before viewing with the eyepiece. Thisis to allow you to have actually a coincided binocular vision of the sample. Withthis in place, friend will check out the crystal in 3-Dimension which has some advantageover the compound microscope as we can see in the observation.

Sugar Crystals Observations

The straightforward geometry of street crystals show up irrespective the the dimension of the crystal and also the crystals execute not just appear individually or in isolation but are sometimes like a fused mass or join with various other crystal molecules.

As you have the right to see if you’re adhering to this, they appear like hexagonal pillars that have actually fallen end at one side and also somehow flat on the surface. This crystal appearance renders sense because sugar naturally forms molecules in a monoclinic form. Part crystals are lot smaller 보다 others and it could be actually just how long they had to flourish or the different problems under which they’ve had to form.

The edges are quite rough and not exactly a perfect hexagon. Due to the fact that they are 3-Dimensional, v a compound microscope, girlfriend will check out a fuzzy outline on the edge whereby there is an out-of-focus section.

For far better viewing under the link microscope, you can either focus on the optimal of the crystal or girlfriend can focus further under its geometry. Therefore, if friend go through the complete range, you deserve to see the image plane of different areas on the height of the crystal.

This is not the situation with the stereomicroscope i m sorry is adapted for far better viewing the 3-Dimensional crystal lattices. When the magnification is set correctly, every component of the decision comes into emphasis at once and also the depth or outline have the right to be observed much more clearly. 

The crystals watch a bit much more transparent 보다 they appear on typical unaided view, that’s with simply your eyes. You have the right to see the black color background behind, blending v the crystals really easily and also the crystals almost look favor frosted glass or maybe like an ice that’s out of an ice tray.

Increasing the magnification through the compound microscopic lense to x40, on a backlit setup various other than the initial prior lit setup, and focusing top top the peak of the crystal, you can use the spatula to transition the place and airplane of the crystal around.

Focusing ~ above the top, you have the right to see the crystals have actually a fairly flat surface with the corners fairly chopped off. Actually, they appear to be rounded off fairly a lot and also the surface seem to be worn under as well. This may be since of the continued influence of the crystals versus one another causing the erosion of several of the edges.

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Theappearance of sugar crystals under the microscope both under the compound microscopic lense andstereo-microscope is an enjoyable experiment.

With the stereo-microscope, yes sir morein-depth concentrating of the entire crystal framework as the microscope is betteradapted because that 3-dimensional viewing otherwise known as depthperception. The crystals show up like hexagonal pillars that have fallen end at one side and also somehowflat ~ above the surface.

This decision appearance makes sense because sugar naturallyforms molecule in a monoclinic form. Some crystals are much smaller thanothers and also may be due to how long they had to prosper or the differentconditions that may have impacted the process of crystallization.

Check out various other easy microscope experiments: Onion Cells, Leaves, Hair, Spider"s Web, Cheek Cells and Cork cells under the Microscope

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Urbano, L., 2011. Salt and also Sugar Under the Microscope, recall May9th, 2018, native Montessori Muddle: