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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]

dc.contributor.authorStewart, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorChadderton, Lewis
dc.contributor.authorSenior, Brian
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T22:23:34Z
dc.identifier.issn0022-0248
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/52857
dc.description.abstractIt 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 that the characteristic concentric spherical shell-like structure of spherulites, centred on primary nuclei, are due to sequential deposition of intrinsic salts, which precipitate out when the corresponding solubility limits in the liquid are successively exceeded. It can be that the better-known sedimentation of microspherulites under gravity only plays part in the final stabilization period of overall growth. Crown
dc.publisherElsevier
dc.sourceJournal of Crystal Growth
dc.subjectKeywords: A1. Growth models; B1. Nanomaterials; B1. Silicates; Growth models; Nano-materials; Natural crystal growth; Crystal growth; Crystallization; Grain boundaries; Hydrates; Nanostructured materials; Nucleation; Self assembly; Silica; Silicates; Crystal struct A1. Crystal structure; A1. Growth models; A1. Nucleation; A2. Natural crystal growth; B1. Nanomaterials; B1. Silicates
dc.titleSelf-assembly in the growth of precious opal
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume312
dc.date.issued2009
local.identifier.absfor020201 - Atomic and Molecular Physics
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4169254xPUB257
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationStewart, Andrew, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationChadderton, Lewis, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationSenior, Brian, Senior & Associates
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage391
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage396
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2009.09.042
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T10:40:03Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-72549086360
local.identifier.thomsonID000274312400008
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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