Crystal templating through liquid–liquid phase separation

Mosses, Joanna and Turton, David A. and Lue, Leo and Sefcik, Jan and Wynne, Klaas (2015) Crystal templating through liquid–liquid phase separation. Chemical Communications, 51 (6). pp. 1139-1142. ISSN 1359-7345 (

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Controlled induction of crystal nucleation is a highly desirable but elusive goal. Attempts to speed up crystallization, such as high super saturation or working near a liquid-liquid critical point, always led to irregular and uncontrollable crystal growth. Here, we show that under highly nonequilibrium conditions of spinodal decomposition, water crystals grow as thin wires in a template-less formation of "Haareis". This suggests that such nonequilibrium conditions may be employed more widely as mechanisms for crystal growth control.