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Microstructures in the Formation of Chemical Gardens

  • C. Ignacio Sainz-Diaz (a1), Bruno Escribano (a2) and Julyan Cartwright (a3)

Chemical gardens are biomimetic structures in the form of plants formed by a combination of salts which precipitate by a combination of convection forced by osmosis, free convection and chemical reactions. Chemical gardens may be implicated in other phenomena of industrial interest which involve precipitation across a colloidal gel membrane which separates two different aqueous solutions, for example, in cement technology and metal corrosion process. However, the variation in chemical composition, morphology and mechanical properties of the different surfaces of these formations is not well known yet. Several salts in different concentrations and conditions have been explored under terrestrial gravity and microgravity. The chemical garden structures have been characterised by morphology analysis, scanning electron microscopy, chemical analysis and x-ray diffraction, correlating these data with the biomimetic growth and the physical-chemical nanoprocesses involved in it. This approach can also be useful for the analysis of biomaterials with interesting biomechanical properties.

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MRS Online Proceedings Library (OPL)
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1946-4274
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