Correlation of ultra-fine real-geometry FEM models of diatoms derived from nano-X-ray tomography with in-situ nanomechanical testing

Conference Dates

September 29-October 4, 2019


Diatoms are unicellular, photosynthetic microalgae with complex hierarchical shell morphologies and features. The unique, three-dimensional anatomy of their silica exoskeletons (frustules) contain structure features ranging from the nano-, submicro- to the micrometer-scales (Figure 1). Due to their extraordinary properties, these frustules have drawn attention from a variety of research fields and they have been proposed to be used in a range of applications, including templates for drug delivery carriers, oil and water separation membranes, optical devices, metal alloy components as well as metamaterials designs. Several studies have shown that diatom frustules show unique mechanical properties such as high specific strength and resilience against fracture. Most of these properties arise from the hierarchically arranged structural features.

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