Microscopic garden


In Harvard laboratory a tiny flowers had been crafted by scientists as Wim Noorduin, Joanna Aizenberg, Alison Grinthal and L. Mahadevan. This flowers are elaborate nanostructures (not at the scale of inches but microns!) formed from a chemical fluid.

The crystals depend on a reaction of compounds that are diffusing through a liquid solution. They growing toward from certain chemicals gradients as the pH shifts back. This gradients dictate whether the structure resembles broad, radiating leaves, stem and rosette of petals.

It is not unusual this dictation in the growing. In nature the calcium carbonate influence the curve of marine shells.

To create this flowers is necessary dissolve barium chloride and sodium silicate (waterglass) into a beaker of water. Carbon dioxide from air naturally dissolves in the water, setting off a reaction with precipitation of barium carbonate crystals. At the same time, pH lows triggering a reaction with the dissolved waterglass, adding a layer of silica to the growing structures.



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