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Flower Nanostructures

Hey baby, you're as sweet as C6H12O6. Girl, do you have 11 protons? Because you're sodium fine! That's righ, I got my ion you.

And now, my chemistry loving friends, we finally have something to that make chemistry pick up lines even more effective: self-assembling, complex mineral nanostructures that look like flowers. Go science!

By simply manipulating chemical gradients in a beaker of fluid, Wim L. Noorduin [...] has found that he can control the growth behavior of these crystals to create precisely tailored structures. [...]

To create the flower structures, Noorduin and his colleagues dissolve barium chloride (a salt) and sodium silicate (also known as waterglass) into a beaker of water. Carbon dioxide from air naturally dissolves in the water, setting off a reaction which precipitates barium carbonate crystals. As a byproduct, it also lowers the pH of the solution immediately surrounding the crystals, which then triggers a reaction with the dissolved waterglass. This second reaction adds a layer of silica to the growing structures, uses up the acid from the solution, and allows the formation of barium carbonate crystals to continue.

Read more over at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences' website: Link - via Visual News

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