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Polyelectrolyte complex films influence the formation of polycrystalline micro-structures

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Abstract

Silica–carbonate biomorphs are inorganic materials composed of thousands of crystalline nanorods that assemble complex morphologies such as helices, vessels, and sheets. We investigate the effect on biomorph crystallization of polyelectrolyte complex films that are prepared using the layer-by-layer deposition technique and post-processed to obtain three stable, chemically distinct films. Biomorph growth on poly(diallyldimethylammonium)-dominated substrates (cationic) shows polycrystalline helical and sheet structures bounded by large witherite prisms. Crystallization on poly(styrenesulfonate)-dominated (anionic) and stoichiometric substrates follows a qualitatively different pathway. We observe islands of radial mineral films that over several days extend at a remarkably constant velocity of 0.48 μm h−1 and eventually mineralize the whole substrate. Our work opens exciting avenues for the use of polyelectrolyte films as tunable substrates for biomimetic crystallization.

Graphical abstract: Polyelectrolyte complex films influence the formation of polycrystalline micro-structures

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Dec 2017, accepted on 03 Apr 2018 and first published on 03 Apr 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02466E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
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    Polyelectrolyte complex films influence the formation of polycrystalline micro-structures

    E. Nakouzi, H. M. Fares, J. B. Schlenoff and O. Steinbock, Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02466E

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