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Desiccator Volume: A Vital Yet Ignored Parameter in CaCO3 Crystallization by the Ammonium Carbonate Diffusion Method

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Institute of Glass and Ceramics (WW3), Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Martensstrasse 5, Erlangen 91058, Germany
Interdisciplinary Center for Functional Particle Systems (FPS), Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Haberstrasse 9a, Erlangen 91058, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2017, 7(7), 122;
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
PDF [2686 KB, uploaded 19 July 2017]


Employing the widely used ammonium carbonate diffusion method, we demonstrate that altering an extrinsic parameter—desiccator size—which is rarely detailed in publications, can alter the route of crystallization. Hexagonally packed assemblies of spherical magnesium-calcium carbonate particles or spherulitic aragonitic particles can be selectively prepared from the same initial reaction solution by simply changing the internal volume of the desiccator, thereby changing the rate of carbonate addition and consequently precursor formation. This demonstrates that it is not merely the quantity of an additive which can control particle morphogenesis and phase selectivity, but control of other often ignored parameters are vital to ensure adequate reproducibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: crystal growth; amorphous calcium carbonate; colloidal crystals crystal growth; amorphous calcium carbonate; colloidal crystals

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Harris, J.; Wolf, S.E. Desiccator Volume: A Vital Yet Ignored Parameter in CaCO3 Crystallization by the Ammonium Carbonate Diffusion Method. Minerals 2017, 7, 122.

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