Understanding the oriented-attachment growth of nanocrystals from an energy point of view: a review
Since Penn et al. first discovered the oriented attachment growth of crystals, the oriented attachment mechanism has now become a major research focus in the crystal field, and extensive efforts have been carried out over the past decade to systematically investigate the growth mechanism and the statistical kinetic models. However, most of the work mainly focuses on the experimental results on the oriented attachment growth. In contrast to the previous reviews, our review provides an overview of the recent theoretical advances in oriented attachment kinetics combined with experimental evidences. After a brief introduction to the van der Waals interaction and Coulombic interaction in a colloidal system, the correlation between the kinetic models of oriented attachment growth and the interactions is then our focus. The impact of in situ experimental observation techniques on the study of oriented attachment growth is examined with insightful examples. In addition, the advances in theoretical simulations mainly investigating the thermodynamic origin of these interactions at the atomic level are reviewed. This review seeks to understand the oriented attachment crystal growth from a kinetic point of view and provide a quantitative methodology to rationally design an oriented attachment system with pre-evaluated crystal growth parameters.