December Crystal Clear: A Crystal Snowflake

 

SEM image of a dendritic copper(I) oxide crystal deposited on an ITO substrate in a stirred electrolyte

SEM image of a dendritic copper(I) oxide crystal deposited on an ITO substrate in a stirred electrolyte

Last month’s crystal clear is a wintry image of a Cu2O crystal.

The group from the Taiyuan University of Technology were investigating the growth of Cu2O crystals along the <110> direction. Copper(I) oxide is a p-type semi-conductor with applications from solar-cells to water splitting and catalysis. The physical properties of Cu2O crystals are greatly influenced by their morphology, which has generated considerable interested among crystal engineers.

The study by Wei Liang et al. reports the synthesis of dendritic crystals using a pulsed galvanostatic method and an electrolyte containing only Cu(Ac)2, the controlled growth along the <110> directions produces these eye-catching nano-structures. The team reported the full details of their research in Issue 23 of CrystEngComm. You can download the full article below, which is free to access for 4 weeks.

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Crystallization behavior and formation mechanism of dendrite Cu2O crystals
Jinbo Xue, Wei Liang, Xuguang Liu, Qianqian Shen and Bingshe Xu

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