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Lamellar aluminophosphates with surface patterns that mimic diatom and radiolarian microskeletons

Nature volume 378, pages 4750 (02 November 1995) | Download Citation

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Abstract

ORGANISMS such as diatoms and radiolaria synthesize elaborate biomineral exoskeletons which display hierarchical structures patterned on length scales from less than a micrometre to millimetres. Synthetic materials chemistry, in contrast, has traditionally been able to achieve regular patterning only on microscopic (<10 Å) and more recently1–3 mesoscopic (10–103 Å) length scales. Here we report the synthesis of crystalline, lamellar aluminophosphate structures that are patterned on the submicrometre-to-millimetre scales found in the living world. As in the syntheses of ordered mesoporous solids1–3, our approach involves templating by self-assembled organic aggregates, and we propose that the larger scale of the patterning here arises from the involvement of vesicle templates rather than the micelle-like or bilayer structures thought to be responsible for mesoscale pattern formation1–3.

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Affiliations

  1. Materials Chemistry Research Group, Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories, University of Toronto, 80 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1, Canada

    • Scott Oliver
    • , Alex Kuperman
    • , Alan Lough
    •  & Geoffrey A. Ozin
  2. Imagetek Analytical Imaging, 32 Manning Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6J 2K4, Canada

    • Neil Coombs

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https://doi.org/10.1038/378047a0

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