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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Werner Hofer
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
In biomineralisation, inorganic materials are formed with a remarkable control of shape and morphology. Chirality, as present in the biomolecular world, is therefore also common for biominerals. Bio-macromolecules, like proteins and polysaccharides are in direct contact with the mineral phase and act as modifiers during nucleation and crystal growth. Due to their homochirality – they exist only as one of two possible mirror symmetric isomers – their handedness is often transferred into the macroscopic shape of the biomineral crystals, but yet the way in which handedness is transmitted into achiral materials is not understood at the atomic level. By using the submolecular resolution capability of scanning tunnelling microscopy, we show how the chiral ‘buckybowl’ hemibuckminsterfullerene arranges copper surface atoms in its vicinity into a chiral morphology. We anticipate that such new insight will find its way into materials synthesis techniques.
Author(s): Xiao W, Ernst KH, Palotas K, Zhang Y, Bruyer E, Peng L, Greber T, Hofer WA, Scott LT, Fasel R
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Nature Chemistry
Print publication date: 01/04/2016
Online publication date: 08/02/2016
Acceptance date: 05/01/2016
Date deposited: 13/01/2016
ISSN (print): 1755-4330
ISSN (electronic): 1755-4349
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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