Preparation of a panoscopic mimic diatom from a silicon compound

Bin Fei, Zhigang Hu, Haifeng Lu, John Haozhong Xin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Inspired by biological design principles, a panoscopic mimic diatom was created by hierarchical self-assembly of reactive amphiphiles in a multiphase medium comprising hexadecane, ethanol, water, and hydrochloric acid. Through simple stirring at room temperature, mesolamellar macroporous capsules covering oil droplets were obtained in large quantity, which was confirmed by NMR spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and thermogravimetry. At the mesoscale, amphiphilic C16Si(OH)3 assembled into bilayer lamellae through polycondensation, hydrophobic interaction, and H bonding. At the micrometer scale, the bilayer lamellae nucleated at the interface and grew into a polar phase, thus leading to delicate microcages or mimic diatoms. Moreover, the microcages tended to interconnect and fuse into a continuous coating at the centimeter scale, which provided hydrophobicity through the micropatterned surface. This paradigm for creating hierarchical materials with multiphases could lead to new "synthetic" material technologies and novel fascinating materials with anisotropic properties. KGaA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1921-1926
Number of pages6
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007


  • Biomimetics
  • Emulsions
  • Encapsulation
  • Interfaces
  • Microstructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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