Monday, May 20, 2013

Crystal 'Flowers' Bloom in Harvard Nanotech Lab

These false-color SEM images reveal microscopic flower structures created by manipulating a chemical gradient to control crystalline self-assembly.

  

Imagine peering into a microscope and finding yourself in a garden.

That's the case at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where researchers have found a way to shape microscopic crystals into complex and often beautiful structures.

Inspired by coral reefs, seashells and other naturally occurring complex mineral structures, postdoctoral fellow Wim L. Noorduin and Harvard colleagues have been researching ways to manually recreate similar designs.

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