Nucleation, growth and evolution of calcium phosphate films on calcite

Sonia Naidu, George W. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Marble, a stone composed of the mineral calcite, is subject to chemically induced weathering in nature due to its relatively high dissolution rate in acid rain. To protect monuments and sculpture from corrosion, we are investigating the application of thin layers of hydroxyapatite (HAP) onto marble. The motivation for using HAP is its low dissolution rate and crystal and lattice compatibility with calcite. A mild, wet chemical synthesis route, in which diammonium hydrogen phosphate salt was reacted with marble, alone and with cationic and anionic precursors under different reaction conditions, was used to produce inorganic HAP layers on marble. Nucleation and growth on the calcite substrate was studied, as well as metastable phase evolution, using scanning electron microscopy, grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, and atomic force microscopy. Film nucleation was enhanced by surface roughness. The rate of nucleation and the growth rate of the film increased with cationic (calcium) and anionic (carbonate) precursor additions. Calcium additions also influenced phase formation, introducing a metastable phase (octacalcium phosphate) and a different phase evolution sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Biomaterials
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


  • Calcite
  • Growth
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Marble
  • Nucleation
  • Octacalcium phosphate


Dive into the research topics of 'Nucleation, growth and evolution of calcium phosphate films on calcite'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this