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Crystals 2019, 9(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9020064

Controlling the Spatial Direction of Hydrothermally Grown Rutile TiO2 Nanocrystals by the Orientation of Seed Crystals

1
Department of Physics, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
2
Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, 3307 Patrick Taylor Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
3
Department of Chemistry, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Crystalline Materials)
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Abstract

Hydrothermally grown TiO2 nanorods are a key material for several electronic applications. Due to its anisotropic crystal structure, the electronic properties of this semiconductor depend on the crystallographic direction. Consequently, it is important to control the crystal orientation to optimize charge carrier pathways. So far, the growth on common polycrystalline films such as fluorine tin oxide (FTO) results in randomly distributed growth directions. In this paper, we demonstrate the ability to control the growth direction of rutile TiO2 nanocrystals via the orientation of the seed crystals. The control of the orientation of such nanocrystals is an important tool to adjust the electronic, mechanical, and chemical properties of nanocrystalline films. We show that each employed macroscopic seed crystal provides the growth of parallel nanofingers along the [001] direction under specific angles. The parallel growth of these nanofingers leads to mesocrystalline films whose thickness and surface structure depends on the crystal orientation of the seed crystal. In particular, the structure of the films is closely linked with the known inner structure of hydrothermally grown rutile TiO2 nanorods on FTO. Additionally, comprehensive 1D structures on macroscopic single-crystals are generated by branching processes. These branched nanocrystals form expanded 2D defect planes, which provide the opportunity of defect doping-induced two-dimensional electronic systems (2DES). View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrothermal methods; crystal growth; titanium dioxide; nanomaterials; mesocrystals; rutile; nanowires; nanorods hydrothermal methods; crystal growth; titanium dioxide; nanomaterials; mesocrystals; rutile; nanowires; nanorods
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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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Kalb, J.; Dorman, J.A.; Siroky, S.; Schmidt-Mende, L. Controlling the Spatial Direction of Hydrothermally Grown Rutile TiO2 Nanocrystals by the Orientation of Seed Crystals. Crystals 2019, 9, 64.

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