Mesocrystalline materials and the involvement of oriented attachment – a review
The latest advances in mesocrystal formation and non-classical crystallization of pre-synthesised nanoparticles have been reviewed with the focus on providing a fuller description of a number of complex systems and their properties and applications through examination of the crystallisation mechanisms at work. Two main crystallization principles have been identified; classical crystallization and particle based aggregation modes of non-classical pathways. To understand the non-classical pathways classical crystallization and its basics are introduced before non-classical pathways, such as oriented attachment and mesocrystal formation, are examined. In particular, the various destabilization mechanisms as applied to the pre-synthesized building blocks in order to form mesocrystalline materials as well as the interparticular influences providing the driving forces are analyzed and compared to the mechanisms at work within classical crystallization. Furthermore, the new properties of the mesocrystalline materials that derive from the collective properties of the nanoparticular building units, and their applications potential are presented. It is shown that this new class of materials has the potential to impact in a number of important areas such as sensor applications, energy conversion, photonic crystals as well as for energy storage, optoelectronics and heterogeneous catalysis or photocatalysis.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Colloidal Self- Assembled Supracrystals and Heterostructures