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Biominerals at the nanoscale: transmission electron microscopy methods for studying the special properties of biominerals

By
Mihály Pósfai
Mihály Pósfai
1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pannonia, H-8200 Veszprém, Hungary
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Takeshi Kasama
Takeshi Kasama
2Center for Electron Nanoscopy, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
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Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski
Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski
3Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons and Peter Grünberg Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich, Germany
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Published:
January 01, 2013

Abstract

Biominerals have important functions in living organisms: apatite crystals are responsible for the strength of our bones and the hardness of our teeth, calcite and aragonite are used by many organisms for making shells, and magnetite and greigite help bacteria and birds to navigate in magnetic fields. In order to fulfill their roles in organisms, bio-minerals have strictly controlled physical and chemical properties. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is ideally suited for the study of the structures, arrangements, compositions, morphologies, crystallographic orientations, crystallographic textures, and magnetic properties of biominerals at the nanoscale. In this chapter, we review the state of the art in the application of TEM techniques to the study of these properties, both in biomineral crystals and at the inorganic-organic interface. Examples are taken primarily from studies of magnetic minerals that form in the cells of magnetotactic bacteria.

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Contents

European Mineralogical Union Notes in Mineralogy 14

Minerals at the Nanoscale

F. Nieto
F. Nieto
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K.J.T. Livi
K.J.T. Livi
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R. Oberti
R. Oberti
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Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland
ISBN electronic:
9780903056380
Publication date:
January 01, 2013

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