Bio-Inspired Bottom-Up Assembly of Diatom-Templated Ordered Porous Metal Chalcogenide Meso/Nanostructures



We put forward a novel and straightforward sonochemical process as a generic bottom-up assembly routeto produce ordered porous metal chalcogenide meso/nanostructures by templating of diatom frustules. We work with one of the most beautiful species of diatoms, Coscinodiscus lineatus, as a representative of diatoms with central symmetry, and with ZnS as the prototype, as it is a high refractive index material and is a typical material widely used in optics and photonics. ZnS replicas have been successfully synthesized from the interaction between the reactive surfaces of the frustules and the precursors under ultrasound. The inorganic replicas copy the morphology of the ordered porous structure and inherit its optical property, such as the existence of the photonic bandgap of the diatom frustules. It is possible to achieve tunable photonic properties in the replicas by assembly of various metal chalcogenide semiconductors of different refractive indexes. This bio-inspired discovery provides insight into the facile synthesis of elaborate meso/nanostructures from these marine microbes.(© Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 69451 Weinheim, Germany, 2009)