Mesocrystals are assemblies of smaller crystallites and have attracted attention because of their nonclassical crystallization pathway and emerging collective functionalities. Understanding the mesocrystal crystallization mechanism in chemical routes is essential for precise control of size and microstructure, which influence the function of mesocrystals. However, microstructure evolution from the nucleus stage through various crystallization pathways remains unclear. We propose a unified model on the basis of the observation of two crystallization pathways, with different ferric (oxyhydr)oxide polymorphs appearing as intermediates, producing microstructures of magnetite mesocrystal via different mechanisms. An understanding of the crystallization mechanism enables independent chemical control of the mesocrystal diameter and crystallite size, as manifested by a series of magnetic coercivity measurements. We successfully implement an experimental model system that exhibits a universal crystallite size effect on the magnetic coercivity of mesocrystals. These findings provide a general approach to controlling the microstructure through crystallization pathway selection, thus providing a strategy for controlling magnetic coercivity in magnetite systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)