Layered nanocomposites inspired by the structure and mechanical properties of nacre

  • Wang J
  • Cheng Q
  • Tang Z
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Nacre (mother-of-pearl), made of inorganic and organic constituents (95 vol% aragonite calcium carbonate (CaCO(3)) platelets and 5 vol% elastic biopolymers), possesses a unique combination of remarkable strength and toughness, which is compatible for conventional high performance materials. The excellent mechanical properties are related to its hierarchical structure and precisely designed organic-inorganic interface. The rational design of aragonite platelet strength, aspect ratio of aragonite platelets, and interface strength ensures that the strength of nacre is maximized under platelet pull-out failure mode. At the same time, the synergy of strain hardening mechanisms acting over multiple scales results in platelets sliding on one another, and thus maximizes the energy dissipation of viscoplastic biopolymers. The excellent integrated mechanical properties with hierarchical structure have inspired chemists and materials scientists to develop biomimetic strategies for artificial nacre materials. This critical review presents a broad overview of the state-of-the-art work on the preparation of layered organic-inorganic nanocomposites inspired by nacre, in particular, the advantages and disadvantages of various biomimetic strategies. Discussion is focused on the effect of the layered structure, interface, and component loading on strength and toughness of nacre-mimic layered nanocomposites (148 references).

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