Bioinspired Nanocomposites: Ordered 2D Materials Within a 3D Lattice

Matteo Di Giosia, Iryna Polishchuk, Eva Weber, Simona Fermani, Luca Pasquini, Nicola M. Pugno, Francesco Zerbetto, Marco Montalti, Matteo Calvaresi, Giuseppe Falini, Boaz Pokroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Composites, materials composed of two or more materials—metallic, organic, or inorganic—usually exhibit the combined physical properties of their component materials. The result is a material that is superior to conventional monolithic materials. Advanced composites are used in a variety of industrial applications and therefore attract much scientific interest. Here the formation of novel carbon-based nanocomposites is described via incorporation of graphene oxide (GO) into the crystal lattice of single crystals of calcite. Incorporation of a 2D organic material into single-crystal lattices has never before been reported. To characterize the resulting nanocomposites, high-resolution synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and nanoindentation tests are employed. A detailed analysis reveals a layered distribution of GO sheets incorporated within the calcite host. Moreover, the optical and mechanical properties of the calcite host are altered when a carbon-based nanomaterial is introduced into its lattice. Compared to pure calcite, the composite GO/calcite crystals exhibits lower elastic modulus and higher hardness. The results of this study show that the incorporation of a 2D material within a 3D crystal lattice is not only feasible but also can lead to the formation of hybrid crystals exhibiting new properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5569-5575
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number30
StatePublished - 9 Aug 2016


  • bioinspired
  • fluorescence
  • graphene oxide
  • mechanical properties
  • nanocomposite

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Bioinspired Nanocomposites: Ordered 2D Materials Within a 3D Lattice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this