Architecture of columnar nacre, and implications for its formation Mechanism

Rebecca A. Metzler, Mike Abrecht, Ronke M. Olabisi, Daniel Ariosa, Christopher J. Johnson, Bradley H. Frazer, Susan N. Coppersmith, P. U.P.A. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number268102
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 29 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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