Controlled Nanoporous Structures of a Marine Diatom
We demonstrated chemical etching of a marine diatom shell with 1 N NaOH for controlling the pore size of nanoporous structures of the shell under various conditions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images clearly revealed that the pore size of the diatom shells was regulated in the case of etching at 25 °C. In contrast, fluctuations in the etched structures was relatively high even during short periods degradation at 40, 60, and 90 °C; therefore, controlled nanoporous structures could not be fabricated. This is the first example of artificial modification of natural diatom shells at the nanoscale although diatom shells have been widely used in industry. In addition, a backbone-like structure was observed during the etching process. The structure was similar to the intermediate structure observed during the primitive stage of the diatom cell growth. Probably, this information is valuable for studying the mechanism of nanoporous structures of diatoms.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-08-01
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