Enzymatic Etching of Single Crystals of Naphthalene


IT was previously observed1 that when crystals of naphthalene, which had been grown from the vapour phase, were immersed in an aqueous suspension of soil pseudomonads for about 10 min at room temperatures, a small number (about 102 cm−2) of well-defined, pyramidal pits were produced on the principal habit faces {00l}. This result was tentatively interpreted to mean that preferential attack of the naphthalene by the pseudomonads occurred at the regions of emergence of dislocations, a view which was consonant with: (i) the conclusions of Kochendorfer2, who indicated that dislocations lying in, {010} planes, having a Burgers vector in the [001] direction, might be possible in naphthalene; (ii) the results of Koslovskii3, who observed growth spirals on the {00l} faces of certain naphthalene crystals; (iii) the more recent work of Sears4, who also proffered evidence for dislocations emergent at {00l} faces. The result agreed with the molecular interpretation of Davies and Evans5 concerning the oxidative metabolism of naphthalene by microbial enzymes.

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  1. 1

    Thomas, J. M., and Hughes, E. E. G. (unpublished results).

  2. 2

    Kochendorfer, A., Z. Krist., 97, 263 (1937).

  3. 3

    Koslovskii, M. I., Soviet Phys. Crystallography, 2, 146 (1957).

  4. 4

    Sears, G. W., J. Chem. Phys., 37, 2155 (1962).

  5. 5

    Davies, J. I., and Evans, W. C., Biochem. J., 91, 251 (1964).

  6. 6

    Gordon, R. B., Acta Metallurgica, 13, 199 (1965).

  7. 7

    Johnston, W. G., in Progress in Ceramic Science, edit. by Burke, J.E., 2 (Pergamon Press, London, 1962).

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THOMAS, J., WILLIAMS, J., EVANS, W. et al. Enzymatic Etching of Single Crystals of Naphthalene. Nature 211, 181–182 (1966). https://doi.org/10.1038/211181b0

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