Siderophores are compounds in microorganisms that bind and store iron. Parallels between the chemistry of compounds secreted by mussels to aid adhesion to rocks, and the chemistry of some siderophores inspired UCSB researchers Butler, Israelachvili, and Waite and their coworkers to study their adhesive properties.
The use of a prototype “TriBeam” microscope, a scanning electron microscope equipped with a femtosecond laser for rapid serial sectioning, allows 3D views of materials to be obtained.
Strong interactions at the interface between a crystalline film and substrate can impart new structure to thin films. Here, a germanium surface (purple atoms) squeezes a BaTiO3 thin film above, revealing a hidden phase not seen in the bulk. The hidden phase of BaTiO3 shows oxygen octahedra cages (shaded in aqua) alternating in size.