Amorphous structure of iron oxide of bacterial origin

Hideki Hashimoto, Tatsuo Fujii, Shinji Kohara, Hiroshi Asaoka, Yoshihiro Kusano, Yasunori Ikeda, Makoto Nakanishi, Yasuhiko Benino, Tokuro Nanba, Jun Takada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In nature, there are various iron oxides produced by the water-habitant bacterial group called "iron-oxidizing bacteria". These iron oxides have been studied mainly from biological and geochemical perspectives. Today, attempts are made to use such iron oxides as novel functional materials in several applications. However, their quantitative structural characteristics are still unclear. We studied the structure of iron oxide of microtubular form consisting of amorphous nanoparticles formed by an iron-oxidizing bacterium, Leptothrix ochracea, using a combination of high-energy X-ray diffraction and reverse Monte Carlo simulation. We found that its structure consists of a framework of corner- and edge-sharing distorted FeO6 octahedral units, while SiO4 tetrahedral units are isolated in the framework. The results reveal the atomic arrangement of iron oxide of bacterial origin, which is essential for investigating its potential as a functional material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-575
Number of pages5
JournalMaterials Chemistry and Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 14 2012


  • Amorphous materials
  • Computer modeling and simulation
  • Oxides
  • X-ray scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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