We analyze the structure of Haliotisrufescens nacre, or mother-of-pearl, using synchrotron spectromicroscopy and x-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy. We observe imaging contrast between adjacent individual nacre tablets, arising because different tablets have different crystal orientations with respect to the radiation's polarization vector. Comparing previous data and our new data with models for columnar nacre growth, we find the data are most consistent with a model in which nacre tablets are nucleated by randomly distributed sites in the organic matrix layers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)