Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, in Bangalore, India, report a simple method for the ”spontaneous formation of ordered, mesoscale structures made up of inorganic salt bowls”. These tiny bowls are said to be generating a lot of interest due to their unique application as ‘containers’ to hold ultra-low volumes.
The team led by Eswaramoorthy showed that when manganese sulfate is heated with the water soluble polymer PVP, the mix spontaneously forms arrays of tiny water-soluble bowls of the manganese sulfate salt. The beautiful structures are the result of the salt crystallising around the PVP as it bubbles and evaporates. The salt bowl were coated in gold, before the salt is washed away leaving some of the tiniest gold bowls ever made.
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Shaping up: spontaneous formation of ordered mesoscopic salt bowls
Katla Sai Krishna, Bosukonda V. V. S. Pavan Kumar and Muthusamy Eswaramoorthy
RSC Adv., 2012, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2RA20596C, Communication