In the synthesis of porous metal oxides the advanced control of morphology and porosity remain hugely addressed issues. An interesting series of results reporting solvent effects on the hydrothermal synthesis of metal oxides, in particular, TiO2 and MnO2, starting from inorganic precursors has been recently presented by Colin Nuckolls, Hexing Li et al in J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134 (4), pp 2325–2331.
The new observations in this paper deal with the interplay between Ostwald ripening and aggregation, which, of course, is strongly influenced by the properties of oxide nanoparticle-solvent interface. It is pity to note that the interpretation provided by the authors is irrelevant and rather naïve.
Correct clues for understanding of the described phenomena can be found in:
J. Sol-Gel Sci. Tech., 2006, 40, 163-179 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/w32482h662g5v36r/)
J. Sol-Gel Sci. Tech., 2009, 51, 264-271 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/d2171284836175xu/).