Spider silk as a template for obtaining magnesium oxide and magnesium hydroxide fibers

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Svetlana Vito Dmitrović
Marija Prekajski
Bojan Jokić
Goran Branković
Aleksandra Zarubica
Vladimir Žikić
Branko Matović


Spider silk fibers, collected from Pholcus Phalangioides spider were used as a template for obtaining magnesium oxide (MgO, periclase) as well as magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2, brucite) fibers. Magnesium oxide fibers were obtained in a simple manner by heat induced decomposition of magnesium salt (MgCl2) in the presence of the spider silk fibers, while magnesium hydroxidefibers were synthesized by hydration of MgO fibers at 50 °C, 70°C and 90 °C, for 48 and 96 h. According to Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), dimensions of spider silk fibers determined the dimension of synthesized MgO fibers, while for Mg(OH)2 fibers, the average diameter was increased with prolonging the hydration period. The surface of Mg(OH)2 fibers was noticed to be covered with brucite in a form of plates. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis showed that MgO fibers were single-phased (the pure magnesium oxide fibers were obtained), while Mg(OH)2 fibers were two- or single-phased brucite depending on incubation period, and/or incubation temperature.

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Applied Chemistry


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