Monetite Superstructures Displaying Mineral Bridges and Chirality via Biomimetic Mineralization in Lyotropic Liquid Crystalline Phases
Journal article, 2015
Monetite (CaHPO4) superstructures having structural intricacy and chirality were formed using liquid crystals (LCs). The growth of monetite in LCs was shown to be self-organized via reaction-diffusion and responsive to physicochemical cues, allowing us to sculpture the subunits and introduce an additional structural hierarchy by simply adjusting the reaction parameters. We identify two growth modes for monetite subunits, kinetic-limited growth of plank and diffusion-limited growth of filaments, and show that the modulation of supersaturation (by tuning initial ionic strength or pH) can be decisive for the crystal growth: following one mode or oscillating between the two. Particularly, the filamentous structure connecting aligned subunits presented in monetite grown from lamellar (L-alpha) LC possessed multiple mineral bridges rendering longitudinal alignment of subunit crystals and added a unique example of self-organized pattern formation in crystal superstructure.