Chemical synthesis of biomimetic forms

Jacques LIVAGE

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 8 (7) - Pages 629-636

Published on 30 November 2009

This article is a part of the thematic issue Traces of past or present life: Bio-signatures and potential life indicators?

The biogenic origin of the first traces of life is often based on the morphological analysis of microfossils. However life-like forms can also be obtained via chemical synthesis from purely inorganic precursors. Many examples can be found in literature that are mainly based on aqueous solution chemistry. Osmotic growth of gelatinous precipitates is observed during the formation of “chemical gardens”. Point defects in surfactant mesophases lead to mesoporous silica with curved shapes. The oriented attachment of nanocrystals via hydrophilic polymers leads to mesocrystals that exhibit a large variety of unusual shapes.


Mesocrystals, Biomorph silica, Chemical garden

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