Additive speciation and phase behavior modulating mineralization

A. Rao, Y.-C. Huang, H. Cölfen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Natural and synthetic composite materials as yet elude a complete understanding of their formation from organic and inorganic constituents. Addressing the interactions between organic additives and metastable inorganic precursors during mineral nucleation and growth is a critical challenge. In this study, we elucidate additive-controlled mineralization by a novel approach for the in situ continuous monitoring of a widely applied diffusion-based methodology, assisted by the quantitative assessment of mineral nucleation. The formation of amorphous superstructures is attributed to a complex interplay between additives and mineral species viz. ions, ion-clusters, and amorphous precursors as well as a unique phase behavior of the additive molecules relative to the maturing mineral phase. A pH-dependent conditioning of nucleation and demixing of transient liquid-like additive-ion complexes are shown to play critical roles in tuning mineral architecture. Thus, the modulation of mineral precursors and mineralization conditions by additive species determine material composition and morphology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21641-21649
JournalThe Journal of physical chemistry C
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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