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Biomineralization of nacre

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The formation mechanisms of nacre, or mother-of-pearl, are even more surprising than its well-known fracture-toughness and iridescence. Using nano-scale methods we developed on purpose to study it, we showed gradually ordering crystal orientation (JACS 2008), unexpected amorphous precursors phases (JACS 2015), and most recently we found that nacre tablet thickness (TT) correlates with environmental temperature (T) at the time of nacre formation. The TT vs. T equation can be used as a proxy for modern and ancient temperature, providing a climate record, well preserved for the last 200 million years.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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