Enlightened organisms may show us how to make revolutionary new crystals
In recent years, organic molecular crystals have become the topic of intense theoretical and experimental research aimed at harnessing their unique optical, electronic and mechanical properties for technological applications. Organic biocrystallisation, in which crystals are formed from organic macromolecules by living organisms, could provide a window on exploitable pathways. Many organisms exert exquisite control over the formation of crystals to manipulate light in revolutionary ways. The EU-funded CRYSTALEYES project is following the biocrystallisation process in a model system, using advanced techniques to identify the molecules controlling crystallisation and the genes encoding them. Discovering the recipe for success could lead to creation of living factories producing tailor-made organic crystals for a new era of optical applications.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/materials engineering/crystals
Call for proposal
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