Reporting in Nature, researchers from Zhejiang University and Xiamen University have demonstrated the growth of continuous monolith structure in calcium carbonate by cross-linking ionic oligomers using Hummingbird Liquid cell TEM holder. The method, which the authors refer to as non-classical crystallization, can be used to synthesize large quantities of inorganic oligomers, similar to what is currently achieved in polymeric materials by cross-linking monomers of oligomers. Additionally, the cross-linked oligomeric precursors can be systematically moulded into different shapes allowing engineering of single-crystalline materials including additive manufacturing.
References: Zhaoming Liu, Changyu Shao, Biao Jin, Zhisen Zhang, Yueqi Zhao, Xurong Xu and Ruikang Tang. “Crosslinking ionic oligomers as conformable precursors to calcium carbonate,” Nature (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1645-x
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