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Minerals 2018, 8(6), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8060223

Preliminary Data on the Nanoscale Chemical Characterization of the Inter-Crystalline Organic Matrix of a Calcium Carbonate Biomineral

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
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Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomineral Crystal Structure)
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Abstract

Chemical signatures of carbonate biominerals are important for understanding biomineral formation, and are a subject of great interest in geosciences for applications in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography. A prominent unknown factor is the chemistry of organic matrices, in particular that of the inter-crystalline fraction. Here, we use atom probe tomography (APT) for the nanoscale chemical characterization of the mineral-organic interface in calcite from mussel shells. Our findings indicate that the quality of APT bulk chemistry results is highly dependent on sample preparation, yet data on biogenic calcite could be geochemically interpreted with confidence. Three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of calcite tip specimens show the presence of organic matrix domains, characterized by the depletion of cations but enrichment in oxygen and carbon, and with at least 1% atomic increase in 16O relative to the surrounding mineral phase. This is the first relative, in-situ quantification of the chemical composition of the inter-crystalline organic matrix (IOM) for a carbonate biomineral, with implications for a better understanding of vital effects, proxy calibration, and the formation of these biocarbonates. Overall, our findings demonstrate the potential of nanoscale characterization of biominerals and their abiogenic counterparts to further advance our understanding of their chemistry. View Full-Text
Keywords: biogenic calcite; atom probe tomography (APT); inter-crystalline organic matrix; isotopes and trace elements biogenic calcite; atom probe tomography (APT); inter-crystalline organic matrix; isotopes and trace elements
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Pérez-Huerta, A.; Laiginhas, F. Preliminary Data on the Nanoscale Chemical Characterization of the Inter-Crystalline Organic Matrix of a Calcium Carbonate Biomineral. Minerals 2018, 8, 223.

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