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Physics Colloquium - Friday, November
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Understanding the Microarchitecture of Mother-of-Pearl
Department of Physics
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Biominerals have attracted the attention of materials scientists, biologists, and mineralogists as well as physicists because of their remarkable mechanical properties and incompletely elucidated formation mechanisms. Nacre, or mother-of-pearl, is a layered biomineral composite that is widely studied because of its self-assembled, efficient and accurately ordered architecture results in remarkable resistance to fracture.
The aragonite crystal tablets in nacre orient so that their c-axes are aligned perpendicular to the layers. By using novel experimental tools, we have studied this orientational ordering and have found evidence that it is the result of dynamical self-organization.