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Crystals 2017, 7(12), 357;

A Different View of Solvent Effects in Crystallization

State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Complex Systems, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
The first two authors contributed equally.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shujun Zhang
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Crystalline Materials)
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Solvents are widely used in crystallization, but their effects on the shape development of crystals are under debate. Here, we report a view on how solvents play their role by considering the viscosity of solvents. We synthesize silver particles in a mixture of alcohol and water. The viscosity of the solvent is changed by varying the volume ratio of alcohol in water. With the variation of viscosity, diverse morphologies of silver particles are synthesized. Small cubic crystals are formed at low viscosity, while hierarchical flower-like particles are formed at high viscosity. Two alcohols are employed, namely ethanol and propanol. No matter which alcohol is employed, the results are similar. Due to the limitation of mass transfer at high viscosity, the particles synthesized in such solvent are smaller and stabilized by the solvent. When the solution containing these particles are dropped onto metal substrates, these tiny particles firstly aggregate, which is followed by classic crystallization, forming flower-like hierarchical structures. These findings show the importance of the viscosity of solvents in shaping particles, which is underestimated previously. View Full-Text
Keywords: crystallization; silver particles; solvent; diffusion; nanotechnology crystallization; silver particles; solvent; diffusion; nanotechnology

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, H.; Lin, Q.; Dou, X.; Yang, T.; Han, Y. A Different View of Solvent Effects in Crystallization. Crystals 2017, 7, 357.

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