Our article was featured on the cover of the April 24, 2018 issue of Chemistry of Materials. This work was a collaborative effort between the University of Houston, SABIC (Chinta), and the University of New Mexico (Datye).

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About the Cover: The driving forces governing the morphology of metal oxide particles exposing polar facets via the decomposition of suitable precursors in air, molten salts, ionic liquids, or other media are not fully understood. In this article, the authors investigate the thermal decomposition of MgO precursors in molten salts to assess the influence of precursor decomposition pathways, including the physical state of the reaction intermediates and the possibility of dissolution−recrystallization processes in the formation of octahedral MgO particles. It is shown that the presence of residual water and ions impact MgO(111) crystallization in ways that still remain elusive but are not necessarily governed by dsorption−stabilization processes. The cover illustrates that the formation of polar MgO(111) crystals is facilitated in molten salt media when MgO is generated via a liquid-to-solid reaction with intermediates in the molten state.

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