Relationship between thermal conductivity and structure of nacre from Haliotis fulgens

Abstract

The thermal conductivity of nacre from red abalone (Haliotis fulgens) has been determined as a function of temperature (2–300 K), direction, and treatment to partially demineralize or to remove a portion of the organic matrix. The room-temperature thermal conductivity and specific heat of nacre are ∼1 W m−1 K−1 and 0.9 J K−1 g−1, respectively. The thermal conductivity of nacre is rather low and glass-like. It is not as anisotropic as one might expect on the basis of brick-and-mortar structure, in support of recent findings that the aragonite tablets are not monolithic. Partial removal of the mineral component reduces the thermal conductivity in both principal directions, whereas partial removal of the proteins (as observed by 13C NMR) only reduces the thermal conductivity across the aragonite layers.

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Acknowledgment

The authors thank Andrew George, Tolga Goren, Dr. Michael Jakubinek, Dr. Ping Li, Patricia Scallion, and Dr. Catherine Whitman for input. This work was supported by National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) of Canada, NMR-3 at the Department of Chemistry of Dalhousie University, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Atlantic Innovation Fund, and other partners, which fund the Facilities for Materials Characterization managed by the Institute for Research in Materials at Dalhousie University.

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Correspondence to Mary Anne White.

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Tremblay, L.P., Johnson, M.B., Werner-Zwanziger, U. et al. Relationship between thermal conductivity and structure of nacre from Haliotis fulgens. Journal of Materials Research 26, 1216–1224 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2011.76

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