Flow-driven crystal growth of lithium phosphate in microchannels
Fine tuning of the precipitation process is possible through self-organization in flow-driven systems. The reacting precursors lithium chloride and sodium phosphate are injected simultaneously into the microchannel where the precipitate reaction takes place off-centered. The growth kinetics of individual precipitate particles is studied by monitoring the particle growth along and transverse to the flow. In the former direction growth is constant in the evolving stationary concentration field, while in the latter a slowing down is observed. The temporal scaling with a flow-rate-independent exponent reveals significant advective contribution in the transverse orientation as well. Polycrystalline aggregates of orthorombic lithium phosphate are synthetized with size controlled by the flow.