Fluorine in shark teeth: Its direct atomic-resolution imaging and strengthening function

Chunlin Chen, Zhongchang Wang, Mitsuhiro Saito, Tetsuya Tohei, Yoshiro Takano, Yuichi Ikuhara

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Atomic-resolution imaging of beam-sensitive biominerals is extremely challenging, owing to their fairly complex structures and the damage caused by electron irradiation. Herein, we overcome these difficulties by performing aberration-corrected electron microscopy with low-dose imaging techniques, and report the successful direct atomic-resolution imaging of every individual atomic column in the complex fluorapatite structure of shark tooth enameloid, which can be of paramount importance for teeth in general. We demonstrate that every individual atomic column in shark tooth enameloid can be spatially resolved, and has a complex fluorapatite structure. Furthermore, ab initio calculations show that fluorine atoms can be covalently bound to the surrounding calcium atoms, which improves understanding of their caries-reducing effects in shark teeth. Smile! Aberration-corrected electron microscopy allows the spatial resolution of every individual atomic column in the complex fluorapatite structure of shark tooth enameloid. With the support of ab initio calculations, fluorine atoms are shown to be covalently bound to the surrounding calcium atoms, which improves understanding of their caries-reducing effects in shark teeth.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1543-1547
    Number of pages5
    JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
    Volume53
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb 3

    Keywords

    • ab initio calculations
    • biominerals
    • ceramics
    • electron microscopy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Catalysis
    • Chemistry(all)

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