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May 13th, 2004

Recasting natural nanostructures

A diatom exoskeleton is a marvellously patterned microstructure, with potential technological uses. But what if you want to make it from a different fabric? Nature is a peerless nanotechnologist, but her choice of materials can leave something to be desired. Yet that need not restrict the technological applications of natural nanostructures, according to Kenneth Sandhage of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, and co-workers. They have converted a nanopatterned, biogenic silica structure into one made from titania.

* Nature

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