Time and space resolved methods: General discussion

Wenhao Sun, Samuel Booth, Allan Myerson, Colan Hughes, Haihua Pan, Gerard Coquerel, Clement Brandel, Hugo Meekes, Marco Mazzotti, Laszlo Fabian, Simon Black, Peter Vekilov, Kevin Back, Dimitrios Toroz, Jessica Lovelock, Jan Sefcik, Ake Rasmuson, Eric Breynaert, Richard Sear, Robert HammondMartin Ward, Terence Threlfall, Jim De Yoreo, Roger Davey, Radoljub Ristic, Ken Lewtas, Kevin Roberts, Alan Hare, Martí Gich, Helmut Cölfen, Maxim Likhatskiy, Joop Ter Horst, Nico Sommerdijk

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Jim De Yoreo presented some slides on in situ AFM, TEM, dynamic force spectroscopy (DFS) and optical spectroscopy investigations of nucleation in the calcium carbonate system: The free energy barrier to homogeneous nucleation of calcite calculated within the framework of classical nucleation theory (CNT) is prohibitive, even at concentrations exceeding the solubility limits of the amorphous phases. Consistent with this analysis, during nucleation in pure solutions, in our in situ TEM experiments we observed direct formation of all phases, including amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC), as well as the three predominant crystalline phases: calcite, vaterite, and aragonite, even under conditions in which ACC readily forms. In addition to direct formation pathways, we observed indirect pathways in which ACC transforms to aragonite and vaterite through nucleation within or on the precursors, rather than via dissolution and reprecipitation. We also observed aragonate transformation to calcite, but never recorded an instance in which ACC transforms into calcite, except via dissolution–reprecipitation reactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-267
Number of pages21
JournalFaraday Discussions
Early online date16 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • nucleation
  • dynamic force spectroscopy
  • nucleation theory
  • solubility limits


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