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Formation and Evolution of Chemical Gradients and Potential Differences Across Self-Assembling Inorganic Membranes

Glaab, Fabian ; Kellermeier, Matthias ; Kunz, Werner ; Morallon, Emila ; Garcia-Ruiz, Juan Manuel


Silica gardens are well-known examples for the self-assembly of inorganic material (see figure). The growth of hollow tubes results in the spontaneous formation of two compartments with highly dissimilar pH and ion concentrations, which cause electrochemical potential differences across the membrane. Initially generated gradients are relieved over time through dynamic diffusion and precipitation processes.

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