This paper reports on the creation of a unique form of single crystalline two-dimensional (2-D) copper microdendritic plates and proposes a new crystal growth mechanism in an aqueous environment. The crystals are formed via reduction of CuSO4 with starch in aqueous solution. The 2-D crystals are typically similar to 300 nm thick and similar to 50 mu m wide, and consist of rhombic petals of (1 1 1) planar orientation. The plates are found to nucleate at the centre in polyhedral shapes and grow outwards along zigzag growth paths along the <1 1 (2) over bar > directions. Formation of such a crystal morphology is attributed to three different growth controlling criteria. The formation of polyhedral crystalline nuclei is controlled by the Gibbs-Wulff theorem, driven by the need to minimize the total surface energy for nucleation; growth of the crystal to form a 2-D rosette morphology is controlled by the planar expansion kinetics of low surface energy crystallographic planes; the zigzag dendritic growth pattern is dictated by the Cu2+ concentration gradient at the crystal growth fronts in the solution. (C) 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Xu, X., Yang, H., Liu, Y., Zheng, Y., Li, L., Ji, Y., & Han, X. (2011). Formation mechanism of novel two-dimensional single crystalline dendritic copper plates in an aqueous environment. Acta Materialia, 59, 7177-7188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2011.08.013