The objective of this review is to highlight the theoretical and practical aspects of particle morphological control. Materials with directional properties are opening new horizons in material science. Structural, optical, and electrical properties can be greatly augmented by the fabrication of composite materials with anisotropic microstructures or with anisotropic particles uniformly dispersed in an isotropic matrix. Examples include structural composites, magnetic and optical recording media, photographic film, and certain metal and ceramic alloys. The new applications and the need for model particles in scientific investigations are rapidly outdistancing the ability to synthesize anisotropic particles with specific chemistries and narrowly distributed physical characteristics (e.g. size distribution, shape, and aspect ratio). Anisotropic particles of many compositions have been produced but only a few (γ-Fe2O3 and AgI) are produced with any degree of chemical and physical control. These two examples are the result of literally decades of study. Unfortunately, the science and technology (mainly the technology) that have evolved are maintained as proprietary information. Thus, while we generally know what systems yield single crystal, anisotropic-shaped particles, we do not know how to make powders of these crystals with the desired control of shape uniformity, aspect ratio and phase composition. Particle shape control is a complex process requiring a fundamental understanding of the interactions between solid state chemistry, interfacial reactions and kinetics, and solution (or vapor) chemistry. During synthesis of other than a large single crystal the parameters controlling crystal growth must be balanced with the requirements for anisotropic powder nucleation and growth. Although there has been considerable progress in large single crystal growth and the synthesis of powders composed of monodispersed, spherical particles, these efforts have not often been transferred to the synthesis of anisotropic particles. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry