Qi, Limin, Cölfen, Helmut, Antonietti, Markus, Li, Mei, Hopwood, Jeremy D., Ashley, Alexandra J. and Mann, Stephen (2001) Formation of BaSO4 Fibres with Morphological Complexity in Aqueous Polymer Solutions. Chemistry - A European Journal, 7 (16). p. 3526. ISSN 0947-6539

BaSO4 fibres with morphological complexity were formed in aqueous solution with polyacrylate and partially monophosphonated poly(ethyleneoxide)-block-poly(methacrylic acid) additives by a simple precipitation reaction. For polyacrylate, formation of the fibrous deposits was strongly dependent on the level of supersaturation (S) and Ba2+:polymer molar ratio (R). At S=60 to 80, and R=3 to 14, highly anisotropic crystalline fibres consisting of bundles of BaSO4 nanofilaments were formed after several weeks, although the yield was low. The nanofilaments were also organized into cone-shaped aggregates at S=80, and at lower R values these formed higher-order structures that consisted of multiple cone-on-cone assemblies with remarkable self-similarity. Increasing the supersaturation produced ovoid or cross-shaped dendritic particles for the range of molar ratios studied. In contrast, BaSO4 crystallisation in the presence of a partially phosphonated block copolymer gave a high yield of BaSO4 fibres up to 100 μm in length, and consisting of co-aligned bundles of 30 nm-diameter defect-free single-crystal nanofilaments with a uniform growth tip. A model for the defect-free growth of BaSO4 nanofilaments in aqueous polymer solutions based on amorphous precursor particles, vectorially directing forces and van der Waals attraction is proposed.

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