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In Situ Atomic Force Microscopy Observation of Octacalcium Phosphate (100) Face Dissolution in Weak Acidic Solutions

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: Dissolution of the (100) face of octacalcium phosphate (OCP) single crystal in weak acidic solutions (pH = 6.5; 25°C) was observed in situ using atomic force microscopy. Monomolecular steps (2.0 nm high) were observed; they originated from etch pits or crystal edges. Advancement of the dissolution process led to precipitation of nanoparticles as small as ~10 nm even though the solution was undersaturated with respect to OCP. This precipitation of nanoparticles was accompanied by a drastic decrease in the dissolution rate; however, the substrate OCP continued to dissolve, indicating that dissolution and growth occurred simultaneously on the same surface. The precipitated nanoparticles coalesced and eventually covered the entire surface without changing the surface morphology of the substrate crystal. The step height after complete coverage was ~2.0 nm, the same as that observed on the dissolving OCP surface. These findings indicate that the precipitated phase was a pseudomorph of OCP crystal.

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