June Crystal Clear: Euro 2012 Crystal

A titanium microsphere, used as the starting material to make hollow whisker balls

With Euro 2012 now well under away this month’s crystal clear couldn’t be more apt – a crystal soccer ball. The paper, from Issue 12 of CrystEngComm, reports the generation of highly crystalline hollow whisker balls.

Using the KCl flux cooling method, the team were able to grow highly crystalline K2Ti6O13 whiskers from the centres of titanium microspheres. The ultra-long whiskers grew on a TiO2 layer, leaving the centre of the sphere hollow and creating a bi-layer hollow whisker ball structure.

The team also used Ti powders as a starting material for the flux process and found this produced significantly different structures, for more details of the teams procedure and some remarkable images of their unique balls, download their article below for free.

Growth of ultralong potassium titanate whiskers by the KCl flux method with metallic titanium materials
Sayaka Suzuki, Katsuya Teshima, Mizuho Kiyohara, Hideya Kamikawa, Kunio Yubuta, Toetsu Shishido and Shuji Oishi
CrystEngComm, 2012,14, 4176-4180
DOI: 10.1039/C2CE00010E

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