Kinetic control of particle-mediated calcium carbonate crystallization
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By changing the temperature, pH, stirring rate, or time for calcium carbonate crystallization, complex shapes of aggregated calcium carbonates formed. Such shapes have earlier been ascribed to specific interactions with specialized additives. Without polymeric additives, aggregates of vaterite transformed more rapidly into calcite aggregates under slow than under fast stirring. With an anionic polyelectrolyte added, vaterite was stabilized. Larger polycrystalline aggregates of vaterite formed under rapid than under slow stirring, indicative of a particle mediated growth of aggregates controlled by convective currents. The size of the underlying nanoparticles was temperature dependent, with grain sizes of ~20 to 50 nm at 20 °C and ~350 nm at 90 °C. The small differences in free energy between the anhydrous polymorphs of calcium carbonate made both kinetic and equilibrium dependencies important. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011.
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