Electrochemical Biomineralization: The Deposition of Calcite with Chiral Morphologies
The biominerals calcite and aragonite are electrodeposited by electrochemically generating base in a solution containing Ca2+ and HCO3-. Although calcite crystallizes in the achiral space group Rc, orientations of calcite which lack mirror or glide plane symmetry are chiral. Chiral morphologies of calcite are electrodeposited in the presence of tartaric, malic, and aspartic acid. Calcite grows with left-handed spirals when deposited from L-tartaric acid but grows with right-handed spirals when deposited from L-malic acid or L-aspartic acid. a racemic mixture of D- and L-malic acid produces an achiral microstructure, instead of producing a racemic mixture of chiral microstructures.
E. A. Kulp and J. A. Switzer, "Electrochemical Biomineralization: The Deposition of Calcite with Chiral Morphologies," Journal of the American Chemical Society, American Chemical Society (ACS), Jan 2007.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1021/ja076303b
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