Spontaneous assembly and real-time growth of micrometre-scale tubular structures from polyoxometalate-based inorganic solids

Ritchie, C., Cooper, G.J.T. , Song, Y.F., Streb, C., Yin, H.B. , Parenty, A.D.C., MacLaren, D.A. and Cronin, L. (2009) Spontaneous assembly and real-time growth of micrometre-scale tubular structures from polyoxometalate-based inorganic solids. Nature Chemistry, 1(1), pp. 47-52. (doi:10.1038/nchem.113)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.113

Abstract

We report the spontaneous and rapid growth of micrometre-scale tubes from crystals of a metal oxide-based inorganic solid when they are immersed in an aqueous solution containing a low concentration of an organic cation. A membrane immediately forms around the crystal, and this membrane then forms micrometre-scale tubes that grow with vast aspect ratios at controllable rates along the surface on which the crystal is placed. The tubes are composed of an amorphous mixture of polyoxometalate-based anions and organic cations. It is possible for liquid to flow through the tubes, and for the direction of growth and the overall tube diameter to be controlled. We demonstrate that tube growth is driven by osmotic pressure within the membrane sack around the crystal, which ruptures to release the pressure. These robust, self-growing, micrometre-scale tubes offer opportunities in many areas, including the growth of microfluidic devices and the self-assembly of metal oxide-based semipermeable membranes for diverse applications.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Chemical gardens, clusters, crystal-growth, device, devices, driven, england, growth, hybrid, microfluidic devices, nanostructures, one-pot, ratio, release, system, transformation
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Yin, Professor Huabing and MacLaren, Dr Donald and Cooper, Dr Geoffrey and Cronin, Professor Leroy
Authors: Ritchie, C., Cooper, G.J.T., Song, Y.F., Streb, C., Yin, H.B., Parenty, A.D.C., MacLaren, D.A., and Cronin, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Nature Chemistry
ISSN:1755-4330
Published Online:01 March 2009

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
406941Realising the concept of the artificial chemical cell using vesiclesLeroy CroninEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/D022304/1Chemistry
457781Consortium of excellence in advanced sensors and their application.Leroy CroninEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/F012519/1Chemistry