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The micro- and nanostructures of human dental enamel were investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). For this purpose, TEM slices were prepared from teeth by focused ion-beam milling. These slices enabled TEM and transmission-EBSD (t-EBSD) investigations to be performed, while standard EBSD on bulk tooth samples resulted only in Kikuchi patterns. On the TEM slices, t-EBSD enabled automated mapping. The TEM images and the EBSD data clearly elucidated the arrangement of the hydroxyapatite crystals on the nanometer scale. Information regarding the crystallographic orientation of the apatite grains enabled the deduction of novel nanotechnological building principles of the enamel structure based on a chain-like arrangement of the crystallites.

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Publication history

Received: 08 July 2017
Revised: 06 December 2017
Accepted: 23 December 2017
Published: 11 January 2018
Issue date: July 2018

Copyright

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by Saarland University ("Anschubfinanzierung"). The authors thank F. Soldera (UdS, Institute of Functional Materials) for the excellent FIB work.

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Reprints and Permission requests may be sought directly from editorial office.
Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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