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Title: Crystallization by Particle Attachment in Synthetic, Biogenic, and Geologic Environments

Field and laboratory observations show that crystals commonly form by the addition and attachment of particles that range from multi-ion complexes to fully formed nanoparticles. These non-classical pathways to crystallization are diverse, in contrast to classical models that consider the addition of monomeric chemical species. We review progress toward understanding crystal growth by particle attachment processes and show that multiple pathways result from the interplay of free energy landscapes and reaction dynamics. Much remains unknown about the fundamental aspects; particularly the relationships between solution structure, interfacial forces, and particle motion. Developing a predictive description that connects molecular details to ensemble behavior will require revisiting long-standing interpretations of crystal formation in synthetic systems and patterns of mineralization in natural environments.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Science, 349(6247):Article No. aaa6760
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States