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Whisker-like Crystals of Potassium Chloride

Naturevolume 207pages752753 (1965) | Download Citation



POROUS glass1 has pores of molecular dimensions (20–40 Å). During recent work on the use of porous glass in electrochemistry2, long, fibre-like crystals of potassium chloride were found growing from a dried-out porous glass–potassium chloride salt bridge. These crystals, of about 2µ in diameter with lengths up to several centimetres, were weak but flexible. Among other compounds investigated sodium chloride, barium chloride, potassium nitrate, potassium chromate, copper sulphate and chrome alum showed the same phenomenon, but the resulting growth was slower than for potassium chloride, and the crystals were not so well defined. The rate of growth for potassium chloride crystals was about two centimetres per day. As there is interest in whisker crystals at present3, it was felt that this facile technique should be more widely known.

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  1. 1

    Nordberg, M. E., J. Amer. Cer. Soc., 27, 299 (1944).

  2. 2

    Mooney, B., and Jones, T. P., Chem. and Indust., 796 (1965).

  3. 3

    Gordon, J. E., Endeavour, 23, 8 (1964).

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  1. Department of Chemistry and Biology, Welsh College of Advanced Technology, Cathays Park, Cardiff

    • T. P. JONES
  2. Department of Chemistry and Biology, West Ham College of Technology, Stratford, London

    • B. MOONEY


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