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The nanoparticles that give a famed antique porcelain its dazzle

An eighteenth-century Meissen teapot with two cross-sectional maps of gold nanoparticle signatures.

This eighteenth-century Meissen teapot is glazed with both Purple of Cassius, containing uniformly small gold nanoparticles (bottom circle), and Böttger lustre, which has nanoparticles with a wide range of sizes (top circle), creating iridescence. Credit: Celia Chari and The Art Institute of Chicago

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Nature 605, 11 (2022)



  1. Chari, C. S., Taylor, Z. W., Bezur, A., Xie, S. & Faber, K. T. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 119, e2120753119 (2022).

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