PerspectiveMaterials Science

Now You See Them

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Science  19 Dec 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5909, pp. 1802-1803
DOI: 10.1126/science.1167221

Figures

  • How do crystals nucleate? According to classical nucleation theory, calcium carbonate nucleation proceeds by addition of ions to a single cluster (top). Gebauer et al. now suggest a different mechanism, in which nucleation of ACC occurs by aggregation of stable, amorphous, precritical clusters (bottom). The nucleated ACC phase subsequently crystallizes to generate the final stable crystal product.

    CREDIT: P. HUEY/SCIENCE

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