Inorganic Morphogenesis

  • Paul J. van der Put


Traditionally and conventionally chemistry deals with the elementary composition and structure of molecules and crystal lattices. Books on chemistry sometimes also discuss how to run processes to make those structures, but the importance of secondary and higher structures for properties of solids and polymers is not often acknowledged. The information that impurities, synthesis conditions, grain size and form, and the dimension of surfaces in atomic compounds strongly influence the properties and the chemistry and how that influence can be put to use can only be found in articles and books on materials,1,2 virtually never in chemical descriptions. Materials science deals with complex matter and its function and that is outside the scope of molecular and structural chemistry. Yet as polymer chemists, colloid scientists, and catalyst chemists know, morphology is a branch of chemistry. “In the area of solid-catalyzed reactions it has been well accepted that differences in the fine structure of solid catalysts yield totally different reaction mechanisms and rate expressions even in cases where the chemical compositions of the catalysts are exactly identical.”3 This is a statement from a well-known compilation of catalyzed reactions, and this chapter is an attempt to correct this neglect in textbooks, at least for the case of inorganics, by discussing forms (morphology or microstructure) and how synthesis creates them.


Fractal Surface Cellular Automaton Percolation Threshold Boron Carbide Spinodal Decomposition 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul J. van der Put
    • 1
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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