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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2006 Jul 28;8(28):3271-87. Epub 2006 Jun 8.

Oriented attachment and mesocrystals: non-classical crystallization mechanisms based on nanoparticle assembly.

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Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Colloid Chemistry, Research Campus Golm, 14424, Potsdam, Germany.


In this review, we highlight particle based crystallization pathways leading to single crystals via mesoscopic transformation. In contrast to the classical mechanism of atom/molecule mediated growth of a single crystal, the particle mediated growth and assembly mechanisms are summarized as "non-classical crystallization", including exiting processes like oriented attachment and mesocrystal formation. Detailed investigations of non-classical crystallization mechanisms are a recent development, but evidence for these pathways is rapidly increasing in the literature. A major driving force for these investigations originates from biomineralization, because it seems that these crystallization routes are frequently applied by natural organisms. We give a non-exhaustive literature survey on these two mechanisms with a focus on recent examples and studies, which are dedicated to a mechanistic understanding. Furthermore, conditions are introduced for which these non-classical crystallization mechanisms can be expected, as they are always an alternative reaction pathway to classical crystallization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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