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Proceedings Paper

Diatom culture media contain extracellular silica nanoparticles which form opalescent films
Author(s): Dusan Losic; James G. Mitchell; Nicolas H. Voelcker
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Paper Abstract

Diatoms are unicellular photosynthetic algae with enormous diversity of patterns in their silica structures at the nano- to micronscale. In this study, we present results, which support the hypothesis that silica nanoparticles are released into the diatom culture medium. The formation of an opalescent film by the self-assembly of silica nanoparticles produced in the growth medium of diatoms. This film was formed on the filter paper from the culture medium of a Coscinodiscus sp. culture. A numbers of diatoms with partially opened valves were observed on the film surface under light microscopy and SEM, which indicates that cell contents inside of diatoms had been released into the culture solution. AFM images of produced opalescent films show ordered arrays of silica nanoparticles with different diameters depending on the colors observed by light microscopy. The film forming silica nanoparticles are either released by the diatoms during reproduction or after cell death. This approach provides an environmentally friendly means for fabricating silica nanoparticles, decorative coatings and novel optical materials.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 December 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7267, Smart Materials V, 726712 (30 December 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.811321
Show Author Affiliations
Dusan Losic, Univ of South Australia (Australia)
James G. Mitchell, Flinders Univ. (Australia)
Nicolas H. Voelcker, Flinders Univ. (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7267:
Smart Materials V
Nicolas H. Voelcker; Helmut W. Thissen, Editor(s)

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