Crystallization in Patterns: A Bio-Inspired Approach

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Original Entry by Michelle Borkin, AP225 Fall 2009


Biomineralization examples.
Figure 1: Scanning electron micrographs of natural crystaline structures. All examples here are biogenic calcium carbonate structures: a) Dorsal arm plate of the brittle star Ophiocoma wendti. b) Fragment of a mollusk shell structure. c) Wall structure of calcareous sponge Sycon sp. d) Fragment of a coccolith skeleton.

"Crystallization in Patterns: A Bio-Inspired Approach."

J. Aizenberg, Adv. Mater., 2004, 16, 1295-1302.


Biomineralization, Artificial Crystallization, Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), Nucleation


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Experimental set-up.
Figure 2: Schematic illustration of the experimental steps for the fabrication of micropatterned substrates used in the crystal growth experiments: a) microcontact printing, b) topographically assisted self-assembly, and c) mechanism of localized crystal growth.

Sample mircopatterns.
Figure 3: Examples of micropatterned oriented calcium carbonate films formed on SAM templates. The substrates in (a-e) and (g) were fabricated using microcontact printing (see Figure 2(a)), while the substrates in (f) and (h) were fabricated using topographically assisted assembly (see Figure 2(b)). (See Figure 3 in the paper for a more detailed explanation of each film.)

New experimental set-up with sample images.
Figures 5 & 6: New experimental approach schematic and sample micropattern (see caption in original figure for more details).