Journal of Applied Crystallography

Volume 46, Part 6 (December 2013)

research papers

J. Appl. Cryst. (2013). 46, 1603-1609    [ doi:10.1107/S0021889813022322 ]

Hopper-like framework growth evolution in a cubic system: a case study of Cu2O

K. Chen, S. Song and D. Xue

Abstract: Crystallization of hopper-like Cu2O cubes is demonstrated in alkaline citrate-copper solution upon the equilibrium between complexation, precipitation and redox reactions. The complexation reactions of Na3cit and NaOH with Cu2+ manipulate the current chemical reaction routes, phase transformation, and thus crystallization morphologies and compositions. During the crystallization of Cu2O variations of mother solution such as pH and the concentration of Cu2+ (Cu+) are monitored by ex situ pH measurement and UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy. The shape evolution of Cu2O hopper cubes is consistent with the chemical reaction routes, which demonstrates the interplay between chemical reactions and crystal growth. The appropriate reaction concentration, Na3cit:Cu2+ > 2 and 1 < NaOH:Cu2+ < 2, has been identified for the growth of these hopper cubes. The current reaction-controllable crystal growth may further the synthesis chemistry toward rational control over crystallization.

Keywords: Cu2O; hopper cubes; crystal growth; chemical reactions; framework growth.

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[ doi:10.1107/S0021889813022322/ks5363sup1.pdf ]
Chemical roles of citrate and NaOH. XRD patterns of Cu2O hopper cubes. SEM images of products with adding different concentration of NaOH and citrate.


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