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Crystal Growth Mechanism of Vaterite in the Systems Containing Charged Synthetic Poly(Amino Acids)
Branka Njegić Džakula
; Laboratory for Precipitation Processes, Division of Materials Chemistry, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička cesta 54, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Giuseppe Falini ; Dipartimento di Chimica "Giacomo Ciamician", Universitá di Bologna, Via Selmi 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Damir Kralj ; Laboratory for Precipitation Processes, Division of Materials Chemistry, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička cesta 54, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Negatively ionisable poly-L-glutamic acid (pGlu) and poly-L-aspartic acid (pAsp), considered as analogues of the naturally occurring acidic macromolecules involved in biomineralization processes, were used as additives in the calcium carbonate precipitation systems in order to investigate their interactions with the vaterite crystallites. Poly-L-lysine (pLys), a positively ionisable poly(amino acid), was also used in order to elucidate the impact of the side chain charge. The growth kinetics of vaterite was found parabolic, indicating that the integration of growth units into the spiral step at the vaterite crystal surfaces is the rate-determining mechanism. The presence of small amounts of pGlu and pAsp inhibited the crystal growth. At the highest concentrations of both acidic macromolecules the exponential rate law was observed, which indicates the surface nucleation as the rate controlling mechanism. The addition of pLys in the range of applied concentrations did not significantly influence the crystal growth of the vaterite. Thus, the kinetic results, corroborated by morphological observations, pointed out to the significance of the negative charge of the side chains of selected polypeptides in the interfacial interactions with mineral planes.
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