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Scanning electron microscopic study of the fine surface features of synthetic calcium oxalate mono hydrate crystals



Scanning electron microscopic study of the fine surface features of synthetic calcium oxalate mono hydrate crystals



Scanning Electron Microscopy (1): 185-198



Extensive experimentation was conducted to develop a suitable gel growth system for the production of high-quality, non-poisoned calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) crystals. Three gel systems were emplyed: bentonite clay; unexchanged sodium metasilicate; and ion-exchanged sodium metasilicate. These gels produced different results when different concentrations of several calcium and oxalate salts were used at varied pH. Clay inclusions in bentonite-grown COM crystals occurred as a function of pH-controlled adsorption characters of the clay. A new model for the adsorption of crystal growth inhibitors onto crystal surfaces is proposed on the basis of this result. Unexchanged sodium metasilicate gel was a less favorable gel than its ion-exchanged counterpart and this latter gel was found best for the reproducible growth of larger, more perfect COM crystals. Examination of the fine surface features of crystals was a useful tool in judging crystal growth environments. Synthetic crystal growth in gel systems, in general, is evaluated as a tool for studying similar crystals naturally occurring in plants.

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