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Not just fractal surfaces, but surface fractal aggregates: Derivation of the expression for the structure factor and its applications
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Densely packed surface
fractal aggregates form in systems with high local volume fractions of particles with very short diffusion lengths, which effectively means that particles have little space to move. However, there are no prior mathematical models, which would describe scattering from such surface
fractal aggregates and which would allow the subdivision between inter- and intraparticle interferences of such aggregates. Here, we show that by including a form factor function of the primary particles building the aggregate, a finite size of the surface
fractal interfacial sub-surfaces can be derived from a structure factor term. This formalism allows us to define both a finite specific surface area for fractal aggregates and the fraction of particle interfacial sub-surfaces at the perimeter of an aggregate. The derived surface
fractal model is validated by comparing it with an ab initio approach that involves the generation of a “brick-in-a-wall” von Koch type contour fractals. Moreover, we show that this approach explains observed scattering intensities from in situ experiments that followed gypsum (CaSO4 ⋅ 2H2O) precipitation from highly supersaturated solutions. Our model of densely packed “brick-in-a-wall” surface
fractal aggregates may well be the key precursor step in the formation of several types of mosaic- and meso-crystals.
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