Inspired by the discovery of graphene and its unique properties, we focused our research to develop a scheme to create nacre like lamellar structures of molecular sheets of CaCO3 interleaved with an organic material, namely carbon. We developed a facile, chemical template technique, using a formulation of poly(acrylic) acid (PAA) and calcium acetate to create lamellar stacks of single crystal sheets of CaCO3, with a nominal thickness of 17 Å, the same as a unit-cell dimension for calcite (c-axis = 17.062 Å), interleaved with amorphous carbon with a nominal thickness of 8 Å. The strong binding affinity between carboxylate anions and calcium cations in the formulation was used as a molecular template to guide CaCO3 crystallization. Computational modeling of the FTIR spectra showed good agreement with experimental data and confirmed that calcium ions are bridged between polymer chains, resulting in a net-like polymer structure. The process readily lends itself to explore the feasibility of creating molecular sheets of other important inorganic materials and potentially find applications in many fields such as super capacitors and "low k di-electric" systems.
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