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Nanoscale Transforming Mineral Phases in Fresh Nacre

Author(s): DeVol, Ross T; Sun, Chang-Yu; Marcus, Matthew A; Coppersmith, Susan N; Myneni, Satish CB; et al

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Abstract: Nacre, or mother-of-pearl, the iridescent inner layer of many mollusk shells, is a biomineral lamellar composite of aragonite (CaCO3) and organic sheets. Biomineralization frequently occurs via transient amorphous precursor phases, crystallizing into the final stable biomineral. In nacre, despite extensive attempts, amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) precursors have remained elusive. They were inferred from non-nacre-forming larval shells, or from a residue of amorphous material surrounding mature gastropod nacre tablets, and have only once been observed in bivalve nacre. Here we present the first direct observation of ACC precursors to nacre formation, obtained from the growth front of nacre in gastropod shells from red abalone (Haliotis rufescens), using synchrotron spectromicroscopy. Surprisingly, the abalone nacre data show the same ACC phases that are precursors to calcite (CaCO3) formation in sea urchin spicules, and not proto-aragonite or poorly crystalline aragonite (pAra), as expected for aragonitic nacre. In contrast, we find pAra in coral.
Publication Date: 21-Oct-2015
Electronic Publication Date: 7-Oct-2015
Citation: DeVol, Ross T., Chang-Yu Sun, Matthew A. Marcus, Susan N. Coppersmith, Satish C.B. Myneni, and Pupa U.P.A. Gilbert. "Nanoscale transforming mineral phases in fresh nacre." Journal of the American Chemical Society 137, no. 41 (2015): 13325-13333. doi:10.1021/jacs.5b07931.
DOI: doi:10.1021/jacs.5b07931
ISSN: 0002-7863
EISSN: 1520-5126
Pages: 13325 - 13333
Language: eng
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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