How was created artificial pearl
������Until recently, attempts by chemists all over the world to recreate nacre in the laboratory were unsuccessful. The form of crystals in a natural masterpiece reflects their atomic structure, therefore, it is extremely difficult to reproduce identical artificial processes.
Natural mother-of-pearl is a unique organic-inorganic composite: parallel layers of aragonite (calcium carbonate, CaCO3) are separated by porous biopolymers, such as chitin. The multi-layered and orderly structure makes pearl deposits 3,000 times stronger than the base material itself - aragonite.
Chemists have already created artificial products, close to the nacre in technical characteristics. So, one of the research groups used alumina for layered structure instead of CaCO3. The resulting material was durable, but had a faded white color.Meanwhile, the thickness of aragonite crystals in a natural analogue is comparable to visible light waves - that is why nacre is poured with all the colors of the rainbow.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge managed to fully understand the natural process and successfully reproduce nacre with the help of CaCO3. First of all, it was necessary for them to create the basis of a man-made structure � calcium carbonate, which would not crystallize during the precipitation from solution.
"Cookbook" of nature itself suggested the recipe for artificial mother of pearl. The natural material used by mollusks was recreated: the researchers added inorganic magnesium ions and organic components to the CaCO3 solution. When aragonite was deposited, it was absorbed on the slide and formed layers of the same thickness.
At the second stage of the creation of nacre, the sedimentary layer of calcium carbonate was covered with a porous organic layer. Finally, at the third stage of research, the artificially created coating crystallized.
As a result of repeated repetition of the process described in the laboratory, a �sandwich� was formed, consisting of crystalline and organic layers - a long-awaited artificial mother of pearl.Scientists estimate that it even surpasses natural material in its durability and gloss iridescence.
Experts claim that the man-made masterpiece has a great future. Thanks to the availability of materials for its reproduction, an innovative product can find its place in the global industrial industry. In particular, it can be used for the manufacture of anti-corrosion coatings.
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