Original Contribution

Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 285, Issue 12, pp 1301-1311

First online:

On the formation of calcium carbonate thin films under Langmuir monolayers of stearic acid

  • Michael MaasAffiliated withPhysical Chemistry II, University of Dortmund Email author 
  • , Heinz RehageAffiliated withPhysical Chemistry II, University of Dortmund
  • , Holger NebelAffiliated withInstitute of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • , Matthias EppleAffiliated withInstitute of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen

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In this publication, we describe the growth of thin films of calcium carbonate beneath Langmuir monolayers of stearic acid. The size and shape of the crystalline structures were systematically studied by means of different microscopic techniques including Brewster angle microscopy, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. In a series of experiments, we explored the calcium carbonate crystallization process for different lipid monolayers and subphases. The observed phenomena support a crystallization process which is induced by a thin, film-like structure of a precursor phase. The basic processes of crystal and aggregate formation can be represented by a simple model which is based on electrostatic interactions between the surfactant film and the inorganic calcium carbonate structures.


Biomineralization Precursor film Calcium carbonate Stearic acid Brewster angle microscopy