Next Article in Journal
Effect of Dissolved Silica on Immobilization of Boron by Magnesium Oxide
Next Article in Special Issue
Indications that Amorphous Calcium Carbonates Occur in Pathological Mineralisation—A Urinary Stone from a Guinea Pig
Previous Article in Journal
Analysis of Dynamic Surface Subsidence at the Underground Coal Mining Site in Velenje, Slovenia through Modified Sigmoidal Function
Previous Article in Special Issue
Pyrophosphate-Inhibition of Apatite Formation Studied by In Situ X-Ray Diffraction
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Minerals 2018, 8(2), 75; doi:10.3390/min8020075

Structural Transition of Inorganic Silica–Carbonate Composites Towards Curved Lifelike Morphologies

Physical Chemistry, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstrasse 10, D-78457 Konstanz, Germany
Laboratorio de Estudios Cristalográficos, Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC-UGR), Avenida de las Palmeras N° 4, E-18100 Armilla, Granada, Spain
Material Physics, BASF SE, RAA/OS–B007, Carl-Bosch-Strasse 38, D-67056 Ludwigshafen, Germany
Instituto de Geología Económica Aplicada (GEA), Universidad de Concepción, 4030000 Concepción, Chile
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 18 February 2018
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4216 KB, uploaded 23 February 2018]   |  


The self-assembly of alkaline earth carbonates in the presence of silica at high pH leads to a unique class of composite materials displaying a broad variety of self-assembled superstructures with complex morphologies. A detailed understanding of the formation process of these purely inorganic architectures is crucial for their implications in the context of primitive life detection as well as for their use in the synthesis of advanced biomimetic materials. Recently, great efforts have been made to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms driving self-assembly in these systems, resulting in a consistent model for morphogenesis at ambient conditions. In the present work, we build on this knowledge and investigate the influence of temperature, supersaturation, and an added multivalent cation as parameters by which the shape of the forming superstructures can be controlled. In particular, we focus on trumpet- and coral-like structures which quantitatively replace the well-characterised sheets and worm-like braids at elevated temperature and in the presence of additional ions, respectively. The observed morphological changes are discussed in light of the recently proposed formation mechanism with the aim to ultimately understand and control the major physicochemical factors governing the self-assembly process. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomorphs; barium carbonate; silica; self-assembly; temperature; precipitation kinetics biomorphs; barium carbonate; silica; self-assembly; temperature; precipitation kinetics

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Opel, J.; Kellermeier, M.; Sickinger, A.; Morales, J.; Cölfen, H.; García-Ruiz, J.-M. Structural Transition of Inorganic Silica–Carbonate Composites Towards Curved Lifelike Morphologies. Minerals 2018, 8, 75.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Minerals EISSN 2075-163X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top