February 6, 2013 By News Staff
Answer: snail teeth
David Kisailus, an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering, is using the teeth of chiton -- a marine snail found off the coast of California -- to create less costly and more efficient nanoscale materials to improve solar cells and lithium-ion batteries, according to the university.
"While Kisailus is focused on solar cells and lithium-ion batteries, the same techniques could be used to develop everything from materials for car and airplane frames to abrasion resistant clothing," the university reported. "In addition, understanding the formation and properties of the chiton teeth could help to create better design parameters for better oil drills and dental drill bits."
Photo of the underside of a gumboot chiton in the lab of David Kisailus, courtesy of U.C. Riverside
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