Nacre crystal layers, SEM

Nacre crystal layers, SEM

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Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nacre crystal layers. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the layered crystal plates forming the nacre (mother-of-pearl) in a nautilus shell. The interior shell layer in a nautilus consists of this composite material, which is mostly a form of aragonite, a calcium carbonate mineral. Nacre has a very high tensile strength due to a combination of soft organic layers and hard inorganic platelets of aragonite. The nautilus is a marine cephalopod mollusc. Magnification: x265 when printed at 10 centimetres high.

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Keywords: aragonite, biological, biology, biomaterial, calcium carbonate, colored, coloured, composite material, crystal, crystalline, crystals, false-colored, false-coloured, fauna, inorganic, layers, marine, material, materials science, mineral, mother-of-pearl, nacre, nature, nautilus, no-one, nobody, organic, plate, platelet, platelets, plates, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, shell, zoological, zoology

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