Chiral habit selection on nanostructured epitaxial quartz films†
Understanding the crystallization of enantiomorphically pure systems can be relevant to diverse fields such as the study of the origins of life or the purification of racemates. Here we report on polycrystalline epitaxial thin films of quartz on Si substrates displaying two distinct types of chiral habits that never coexist in the same film. We combine Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) analysis and computer-assisted crystallographic calculations to make a detailed study of these habits of quartz. By estimating the surface energies of the observed crystallites we argue that the films are enantiomorphically pure and we briefly outline a possible mechanism to explain the habit and chiral selection in this system.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nucleation – a Transition State to the Directed Assembly of Materials