Mother-of-Pearl on Ice: New ceramics might serve in bones and machines

By Peter Weiss, 15:54 PM April 15, 2008

Beneath the shimmer of an oyster's mother-of-pearl, an intricate microstructure bestows both strength and toughness on the natural ceramic. Now, scientists have come up with a way to replicate that structure in humanmade substances.

The process exploits one of the most common transformations in nature—the freezing of water—so it's remarkably simple and potentially inexpensive and environmentally friendly, its developers say.

These researchers, at the Lawrence Berkeley (Calif.) National Laborat...

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