Controlling calcium carbonate particle morphology, size, and molecular order using silicate

Lior Minkowicz, Arie Dagan, Vladimir Uvarov, Ofra Benny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is one of the most abundant substances on earth and has a large array of industrial applications. Considerable research has been conducted in an effort to synthesize calcium carbonate microparticles with controllable and specific morphologies and sizes. CaCO3 produced by a precipitation reaction of calcium nitrate and sodium carbonate solution was found to have high polymorphism and batch to batch variability. In this study, we investigated the polymorphism of the precipitated material and analyzed the chemical composition, particle morphology, and crystalline state revealing that the presence of silicon atoms in the precipitant is a key factor effecting particle shape and crystal state. An elemental analysis of single particles within a polymorphic sample, using energy‐dispersive X‐ray spectroscopy (EDS) conjugated microscopy, showed that only spherical particles, but not irregular shaped one, contained traces of silicon atoms. In agreement, silicon‐containing additives lead to homogenous, amorphous nanosphere particles, verified by X‐ray powder diffraction (XRD). Our findings provide important insights into the mechanism of calcium carbonate synthesis, as well as introducing a method to control the precipitants at the micro‐scale for many diverse applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number3525
Issue number13
StatePublished - 24 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Calcite
  • Calcium carbonate
  • EDS
  • Nanoparticles
  • Sodium silicate


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