Microsculptures made easy

Minerals assemble on demand into tiny, complex shapes like flowers

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 14:09 PM May 16, 2013

The art of growing tiny, intricate floral structures has become a science. Researchers can now grow fields of complex little mineral structures on demand. The process could lead to chemical tricks that halt the growth and movement of bacteria.

When minerals emerge from solution as dazzling crystals, their shapes are often as much about luck as planning. Another way to make small structures is to etch them from large pieces of material, a process that’s laborious and expensive. Now a team from ...

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