Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2000 Aug 4;289(5480):751-4.

Aggregation-based crystal growth and microstructure development in natural iron oxyhydroxide biomineralization products.

Author information

Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Crystals are generally considered to grow by attachment of ions to inorganic surfaces or organic templates. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy of biomineralization products of iron-oxidizing bacteria revealed an alternative coarsening mechanism in which adjacent 2- to 3-nanometer particles aggregate and rotate so their structures adopt parallel orientations in three dimensions. Crystal growth is accomplished by eliminating water molecules at interfaces and forming iron-oxygen bonds. Self-assembly occurs at multiple sites, leading to a coarser, polycrystalline material. Point defects (from surface-adsorbed impurities), dislocations, and slabs of structurally distinct material are created as a consequence of this growth mechanism and can dramatically impact subsequent reactivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center