Nanocrystals Used to Grow Intricate "Garden" In Harvard Lab

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Natureworldnews, By: James A. Foley, 05/18/2013


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


In a tiny garden in Boston petals fan out on tiny flower stems. Curved and delicate, row and rows of complex flower shapes form a feast for the eyes, spiraling like the tubes of a French horn and twisting round like finely blown glass.


Except the scene is not exactly in a garden; it's in a laboratory. And it's not exactly flowers; it's crystals being grown into flower-like shapes. And you can't exactly see it unless you have an electron microscope, because the garden is only microns in size, the nanoscopic crystal "garden" was grown at a Harvard lab. The nanogarden shows great promise for scientists trying to better understand how complex shapes like those seen in flowers evolved in nature.


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