Ceramic Thin-Film Formation on Functionalized Interfaces Through Biomimetic Processing

Science  01 Apr 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5155, pp. 48-55
DOI: 10.1126/science.264.5155.48


Processing routes have been developed for the production of thin ceramic films through precipitation from aqueous solutions. The techniques are based on crystal nucleation and growth onto functionalized interfaces. Surface functionalization routes have been developed by the mimicking of schemes used by organisms to produce complex ceramic composites such as teeth, bones, and shells. High-quality, dense polycrystalline films of oxides, hydroxides, and sulfides have now been prepared from "biomimetic" synthesis techniques. Ceramic films can be synthesized on plastics and other materials at temperatures below 100°C. As a low-temperature process in which water rather than organic solvents is used, this synthesis is environmentally benign. Nanocrystalline ceramics can be produced, sometimes with preferred crystallite orientation. The direct deposition of high-resolution patterned films has also been demonstrated. The process is well suited to the production of organic-inorganic composites.