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Nanoscale growth of solids crystallising from multicomponent aqueous solutions


Astilleros García-Monge, José Manuel and Pina Martínez, Carlos Manuel and Fernández Díaz, Lourdes and Putnis, Andrew (2003) Nanoscale growth of solids crystallising from multicomponent aqueous solutions. Surface science, 545 . L767-L773. ISSN 0039-6028

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The effect of foreign ions on the growth of pure crystals from aqueous solution is an important topic addressed by
both crystal growth, mineral and surface sciences. However, many aspects of the role played by those ions remain
unclear. Our atomic force microscope (AFM) observations of the propagation of monomolecular steps of crystals in
solid solution–aqueous solution (SS–AS) systems show that step velocities are determined by the surface structure of the
underlying layer, so that each new growth layer exerts a decisive influence on subsequent layers. Moreover, we show
that our observations cannot be completely explained by present crystal growth models based on either the pinning of
elementary step motion by impurities or changes in free energy by incorporation of different cations into the lattice. A
surface strain relaxation model is proposed to explain the experimental observations. Our results, apart from providing
an alternative explanation for the development of ‘‘dead zones’’, can shed light on poorly understood phenomena such
as the development of compositional zoning in crystals.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Atomic force microscopy; Solid–liquid interfaces; Surface structure, morphology, roughness, and topography; Crystallization; Growth; Surface roughening
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Crystallography
ID Code:14461
Deposited On:24 Jan 2012 10:43
Last Modified:24 Jan 2012 10:43

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