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Nucleation on surfaces and in confinement

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 May 2016

Michael L. Whittaker
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, USA;
Patricia M. Dove
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA;
Derk Joester
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, USA;
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A review of recent literature supports the notion that organisms may achieve nanoscale control over the hierarchical assembly of organic–inorganic materials by compartmentalizing reactions into small volumes containing specifically functionalized macromolecules. Such confinement may introduce a degree of determinism to the stochastic process of nucleation by greatly reducing the number of nucleation events, allowing an organism to control nucleation using “soft” organic substrates. In this way, the polymorph, orientation, shape, and size of a crystalline building block can be selected, and its assembly into a larger structure orchestrated by the organic matrix.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2016 

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