Re: Re: Re: synthetic opal synthesis
From what research I have done, opals such as Virgin Valley, Mexican, Honduran, etc. that are gel-like, have micropores that would be extremely difficult to stabilize. I have wondered if the critical point drying the Russian labs use could remove the excess water without disrupting the structure of the opal, but you would likely not have enough porosity to refill the voids and the material would just crack anyway from stress. Might be intersting to try it out if you could get access to one of the high pressure/temperaure autoclaves they use.
When photonic crystals first popped on the scene a decade ago, there was a lot of research on making ideal "crystals" out of the microsphere arrays. Most of it got buried in the technical literature and when opal arrays fizzled as practical devices, the research just evaporated. If I were at a research university and had lots of time/equipment, I could probably solve some of these problems. I'm just too old, and there are not enough resources available to tackle the research.
From Henry Barwood - July 21, 2007 at 11:11:03