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Griesshaber, Erika; Job, R.; Kelm, Klemens; Sehrbrock, Angelika; Neuser, Rolf D.; Mader, Werner; Schmahl, Wolfgang W. (2005): Chemical structuring and materials design in the shells of modern brachiopods. In: Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, Vol. 898
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Abstract

Compositional and structural variations at various scale levels have been investigated in the shells of the modern brachiopod Megerlia truncata combining transmission electron microscopy (TEM), cathodoluminescence (CL), laser-ablation- inductively-coupled-mass-spectrometric (LA-ICP-MS) and micro- Raman spectroscopical (μRS) analyses. Our results show that these shells can be addressed as hierarchically structured, multi-scaled organic/inorganic fiber composites. A significant chemical as well as a mechanical inhomogeneity is observable within the shells. This occurs on various scale levels ranging from less then one to a few hundred microns. In concert to systematic variations in micro- and nanohardness the μRS and CL analyses reveal a systematic distribution and incorporation of organic material within the shells, which is negligible within the nanocrystalline primary layer but is present in a significant amount in the innermost part of the secondary layer, next to the organic tissue of the animal. This study together with results given in [13] shows that mechanical performance (hardness and fracture toughness) of this biomaterial is mainly determined by textural features, an extreme variation of crystallite size and a purpose oriented inter-linkage of organic and inorganic components.