Inorganic hierarchical nanostructures induced by concentration difference and gradient
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A very simple strategy for preparing hierarchical inorganic nanostructures is presented under ambient aqueous conditions. The hierarchical inorganic nanomaterials were obtained by simply adding a highly concentrated solution of one reactant to a solution of another reactant with low concentration. No surface-capping molecules or structure-directing templates were needed. The preparation of hierarchical single crystalline PbMoO4 was used as an example in order to study the effects of varying the reaction conditions and the mechanism of the process. It was found that the large concentration difference (typically in excess of 200-fold) and the concentration gradient of the reactants both play key roles in controlling the diffusion process and the morphology of the resulting nanostructures. This kinetically controlled strategy is facile and is easily adapted to prepare a variety of inorganic materials.