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Int J Biol Macromol. 1999 Mar-Apr;24(2-3):179-86.

Aspects of X-ray diffraction on single spider fibers.

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European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France.


Diffraction patterns of silk from several spider species have been obtained by synchrotron radiation using a beam size > or = 10 microm. Single fiber diffraction patterns were obtained for fiber diameters down to a few microns. Diffraction patterns recorded with a 10 microm wide X-ray beam displayed fiber texture. The presence of two fractions of different crystallinity was confirmed for a single Nephila clavipes fiber. The orientation distribution of the polymer chains of the crystalline fraction along the fiber axis was found to be about 23 degrees full-width at half maximum (fwhm). The azimuthal spread of the short-range order fraction was about 86 degrees fwhm.

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