A series of deuterated potassium dihydrogen phosphate (DKDP) crystals with different degrees of deuteration are grown from aqueous solution by the point-seed technique. The microhardness of (100), (001) and so-called ‘tripler’ faces for these DKDP crystals were measured. Initially the hardness number of (001) face for each crystal increases with the increase of the applied load until it reaches 25 g. With further increase in load, the hardness number decreases gradually. The hardness numbers decline with the increase in deuterium content. These composition dependences are expected since the bond strength is weakened by the substitution of deuterium for hydrogen. The hydrogen bond is considered to play the key role in effecting the crystal’s hardness. The visible hardness anisotropy of the different faces is attributed to the inhomogeneous distribution of the oxygen–hydrogen bond on these faces.
Volume 42 | Issue 5