Mrs. Sylwia Mijowska , Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Haifa 3200003, Israel
Specialized organic macromolecules regulate the process of biomineralization, the formation of minerals by organisms. It has been shown that some of these molecules get incorporated into the crystal lattice of biogenic crystals and produce strong effect on the crystal structure and even on the mechanical properties of the crystalline host. The current study was inspired by this phenomenon and its main aim was to better understand the process of incorporation by synthetic routes under non-ambient conditions. To this end calcite, the stable polymorph of calcium carbonate, was grown in the presence of diverse organic molecules with biological relevance and their incorporation was investigated. The hybrid nano-composite calcite crystals were characterized by synchrotron high-resolution powder diffraction (HRPXRD), single-crystal X-ray diffraction (HRSCD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) among other state-of-the-art techniques. It was concluded that the incorporation of such organic molecules is probably governed thermodynamically rather than kinetically and leads to the formation of an organic/inorganic solid solution.