Biomimetic pathways for assembling inorganic thin films and oriented mesoscopic silicate patterns through guided growth

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A process directed to prepg. surfactant-polycryst. inorg. nanostructured materials having designed microscopic patterns. The process includes forming a polycryst. inorg. substrate having a flat surface and placing in contact with the flat surface of the substrate a surface having a predetd. microscopic pattern. An acidified aq. reacting soln. is then placed in contact with an edge of the surface having the predetd. microscopic pattern. The soln. wicks into the microscopic pattern by capillary action. The reacting soln. has an effective amt. of a silica source and an effective amt. of a surfactant to produce a mesoscopic silica film upon contact of the reacting soln. with the flat surface of the polycryst. inorg. substrate and absorption of the surfactant into the surface. Subsequently an elec. field is applied tangentially directed to the surface within the microscopic pattern. The elec. field is sufficient to cause electro-osmotic fluid motion and enhanced rates of fossilization by localized Joule heating. [on SciFinder(R)]