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Research in Sustainable Materials Chemistry

Biotemplating

leaf

Biotemplating is quite simply the use of a biological material as a template for a synthetic material. The beauty of this technique is that intricate biological features can be introduced into a material that may otherwise be very difficult to shape. In this way, metals, metal oxides and metal carbides have all been prepared in quite amazing forms!

For a particularly beautiful example of biotemplating check out ‘The Magnetic Leaf‘ – the use of a simple leaf skeleton as a template for iron carbide (Fe3C). The real beauty in this work is that the tiny structures of the leaf are replicated perfectly in the new ceramic material. Helical, pitted and scalariform xylem can all be identified!

We have several biotemplating projects in progress at the moment. Contact Zoe for more information or keep visiting this page for updates!

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