Enlargement of diatom frustules pores by hydrofluoric acid etching at room temperature
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Based on the fact that SiO2 can dissolve in HF solution, three kinds of diatom frustules were treated with 1% HF solution at room temperature. Given the proper reaction times (0–2 h for the diatoms Coscinodiscus and Navicula, and 0–3 h for the diatom Melosira), the size of the pores on the frustules gradually increased and the structures of the frustules remained. While HF treatment does not affect the composition, chemical bonds, or photoluminescence signature of the diatom frustules, the treatment reduces their surface areas. This method may be beneficial to diatom studies, diatom nanotechnology, and diatom device applications that make use of diatom pores.
KeywordsNavicula Diatom Frustule Diatom Valve Pore Enlargement Photoluminescence Signature
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (No. 50805005), the 863 Project of China (No. 2007AA04Z353, 2009AA043804), and the Innovation Fund Project for Graduate Student of Beihang University.