An approach towards the reactivity in the solid state is proposed, primarily based on recognizing the crucial role played by the interfacial free energy and by the topotactical relationship between the two reactants, which in turn control formation of the new phase and its spatial and orientational relationships with respect to the parent phases. Using one of the reactants in the form of film, the ratio between bulk and interfacial free energy can be changed, and the effect of interfacial freeenergy is maximized. The role of Synchrotron Radiation in such an approach is exemplified by using a new developed technique for micro-XANES mapping with nanometric resolution for studying the reactivity of thin films of NiO onto differently oriented Al2O3 single crystals. The result obtained allowed us to speculate about the rate determining step of the NiO+Al2O3-NiAl2O4 interfacial reaction. & 2011ElsevierLtd.Allrightsre
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