American Chemical Society
ao7b00930_si_002.mp4 (4.12 MB)

Realtime Observation of Diffusing Elements in a Chemical Garden

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posted on 2017-08-08, 17:55 authored by Wenyang Zhao, Kenji Sakurai
The chemical garden, which has been known as the plant-growth-like diffusion of chemicals since the 17th century, has regained much attention in recent years. Significant progress in research not only promoted the understanding of the phenomenon itself but also suggested a prospective method of synthesizing new materials via the chemical garden route. It is extremely important to introduce new characterization techniques to provide more insights into chemical diffusion and element redistribution during the reaction process. The present article describes some successful applications of the realtime X-ray fluorescence (XRF) movie technique to observe each diffusing element. The protagonist of the movie is a chemical garden reaction growing from a seed of calcium salt and ferrous salt mixtures. Through observation by an XRF movie, it has been found that the growth rate and diffusion behavior of calcium and iron are very different. This results in a macroscopic diversity of the element composition in the finally precipitated chemical garden structures. The present research not only reconfirms the potential of fabricating gradient composites through the self-organized chemical garden approach but also demonstrates the attractive achievements of XRF movies. It has been demonstrated that the XRF movie is an indispensable realtime characterization technique for the study of chemical garden reactions or even other related diffusions.