Abstract A novel partially confined configuration is proposed for the crystal growth of semiconductors from the melt, including those with volatile constituents. A triangular prism is employed to contain the growth melt. Due to surface tension, the melt will acquire a cylindrical-like shape and thus contact the prism along three parallel lines. The three empty spaces between the cylindrical melt and the edges of the prism will accomodate the expansion of the solidifying semiconductor, and in the case of semiconductor compounds with a volatile constituent, will permit the presence of the desired vapor phase in contact with the melt for controlling the melt stoichiometry. Theoretical and experimental evidence in support of this new type of confinement is presented.