A large number of mineral species occur only as micron-sized and smaller crystallites. This includes most of the iron and manganese oxyhydroxide minerals, and other species whose formation processes and growth conditions limit ultimate size. Microscopic investigation of these species generally reveals sub-micron structure down to the nanometer level, including evidence of aggregation, agglomeration and assembly of nanometer units into larger crystals and clots. The bulk of studies in the literature dealing with nanoparticle structure and growth deal with metals, silicon, and other semiconductor materials. A great deal of attention has been given to the electronic properties of such solids,...

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