Mineralization controlled by the combination a matrix layer and additves in solution

Recently, the concepts of template-induced crystallization on SAMs and the use of (polymer) additives have been combined to a new strategy, where through the cooperative interaction of a surface matrix involved in the nucleation process, an additive in solution and the dissolved ions hierarchically ordered mineral structures are formed. Moreover, these structure can transform into regular surface-relief structures with submicrometer-scale periodicity reminiscent of the structure of nacre but unlike those encountered in biological systems. The morphologies of the crystalline products exhibit characteristic differences from those that are obtained in crystallization experiments on self-assembled monolayers without the additive.

The role of the additive is twofold: it acts through the interaction with the SAM matrix as a template for a morphosynthesis of the inorganic component and it stabilizes (amorphous) precursor particles in solution. This approach is novel in the biomineralization field as it considers the so far mainly neglected but significant interaction between a matrix, an additive and the ions in solution.

Adv. Funct. Mater. 2005