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Self-assembly in the growth of precious opal

Stewart, Andrew; Chadderton, Lewis; Senior, Brian

Description

It is proposed that primary nucleation of amorphous microspherulites of hydrated silica in natural proto-precious-opal can be followed by a long range superlattice ordering process by means of electrostatic self-assembly. Necessary conditions in the thermodynamics are a high surface charge density on microspherulite surfaces, a long Debye length and an appropriate number density of nucleation centres. A further chemical requirement is a high alkaline environmental pH ∼9-10. It is also proposed...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2009
Type: Journal article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/52857
Source: Journal of Crystal Growth
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2009.09.042

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