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Calcite nucleation in microgravity of a sounding rocket experiment

Arnold Gucsik 1Katsuo Tsukamoto 1Seiji Kosumi 1Yuki Kimura 1Yuko Inatomi 2Takashi Itoh 3

1. Earth and Planetary Science, Department of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 984-0065, Japan
2. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Tokyo 252-5210, Japan
3. Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan


   Here, we present preliminary results of impedance and light scattering investigations of CaCO3 crystallization under a sounding rocket experiment. In addition, we discuss phase transition of crystalline and amorphous states of calcium carbonates after homogeneous nucleation by ground-based Macro-Raman spectroscopical measurements.

   Compared to ground-based data obtained, rapid crystallization (around 2 sec induction) occurs at a relatively high concentration of 5 mM solution of the rocket experiment, which might be due to a presence of a bubble within the solution at high G conditions. Other cells (at medium or low concentrations) show relatively long induction time such as: 3 mM-132 sec, 3.8 mM-49 sec, 4 mM-23 sec and 4.5 mM-14 sec.

   In the medium spectral range, there are two typical carbonate-related Raman bands, which centered at around 1085 cm-1 (CO3-bending in calcite) (Urmos et al., 1991) and 1650 cm-1 (H2O-bending).  H2O-related antisymmetric and symmetric stretching vibrational modes at 3250 and 3450 cm-1 are dominant (Tlili et al., 2001). An additional peak appears at around 540 cm-1 (in most cases at 544 cm-1) at 2, 3.6, 4.5 and 50 mM, however, this peak is an absent one from 4 and 5 mM solutions, which may be related to the lattice H2O libration or translation in the hexahydrate carbonate (CaCO3xH2O) (Gauldie et al., 1997).

   Consequently, high concentrations show rapid crystallization under the microgravity conditions, whereas medium or low concentrations represent relatively slow processes as same as under the gravity. Macro-Raman spectral investigations were not conclusive in terms of the phase determination, however, further systematic analyses must be done.



Gauldie, W.R., Sharma, K.S. and Volk, E. (1997) Comp.Biochem.Physiol. 118A, 753-757

Tlili, M.M., Ben Amor, M., Gabrielli, C., Joiret, S., Maurin, G. and Rousseau, P. (2001) J. Raman Spectroscopy 33, 10-16. 

Urmos, J., Sharma, S.K., Mackenzie, F.T. (1991) American Mineralogist 76, 641-646.


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Presentation: Poster at 17th International Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy - ICCGE-17, Topical Session 8, by Arnold Gucsik
See On-line Journal of 17th International Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy - ICCGE-17

Submitted: 2013-04-09 05:11
Revised:   2013-04-16 10:08