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Nano Flowers 2, false-colored and imaged with ZEISS SEM | by ZEISS Microscopy
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Nano Flowers 2, false-colored and imaged with ZEISS SEM

The researchers dissolved barium chloride and sodium silicate 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. Images kindly provided by Wim Noorduin and Joanna Aizenberg, Harvard SEAS. www.zeiss.com/sem

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Taken on June 3, 2013