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Issue 10, 2013

Unzipping oyster shell

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A novel technique to extract nacre tablets (bricks) from molluskan shells using ‘soft energy’ ionic liquid based dissolution of the organic material (mortar) between the tablets rather than using high energy and potentially tablet-damaging ball milling processing has been developed. The tablets isolated from this ‘unzipping’ of the shell in the ionic liquid n-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate were structurally characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). High resolution AFM combined with in situ SEM shows nanoparticles of calcium carbonate approximately 4–5 nm in diameter present at the interface between multiple tablets of pearl nacre where there is incomplete dissolution of the mortar in the ionic liquid.

Graphical abstract: Unzipping oyster shell

Supplementary files

Article information

10 Aug 2012
21 Dec 2012
First published
21 Dec 2012

RSC Adv., 2013,3, 3284-3290
Article type

Unzipping oyster shell

R. A. Boulos, C. Harnagea, X. Duan, R. N. Lamb, F. Rosei and C. L. Raston, RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 3284 DOI: 10.1039/C2RA21763E

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