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Silicification and biosilicification - Part 1. Formation of silica structures utilizing a cationically charged synthetic polymer at neutral pH and under ambient conditions

Patwardhan, S V and Clarson, S J (2002) Silicification and biosilicification - Part 1. Formation of silica structures utilizing a cationically charged synthetic polymer at neutral pH and under ambient conditions. Polymer Bulletin, 48 (4-5). pp. 367-371. ISSN 0170-0839

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Abstract

The formation of uniquely synthesized well-structured nanometer and micrometer sized silica spheres utilizing a cationically charged synthetic polymer at neutral pH and under ambient conditions is reported. The products were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier Transform Infra Red Spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). Evidence was found that the final silica structures incorporated the polyallylamine hydrochloride (PAH), the cationically charged synthetic polymer used here. It is proposed that PAH facilitates the formation of silica structures by a similar mechanism to that described previously in the literature for the formation of silica by the silicatein proteins.