Biomimetic materials (McGrath, Williams(B))

Nature controls the precipitation of inorganic materials to high precision and, in doing so, manipulates their growth such that the final materials have superior physical (e.g. strength) and chemical properties (e.g. resistance to corrosion) as compared with similar mineral or synthetically grown materials. Investigations are underway into using soft interactions and traits inherent in soft matter systems, such as self assembly, phase separation and surface tension, in order to orchestrate the assembly of hierarchical structures in advanced inorganic materials.